UPDATE: Authorities have returned to this downtown business after the “distraught individual” returned. Police said it ended peacefully earlier and that the man “left the city.”
Officials with the Charleston Police Department say the individual was able to get back into the liquor store before it could be secured. Officers are on scene talking with the man.
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A so-called distraught individual who had been holed up inside a business on King Street has “left the city,” according to the Charleston Police Department.
Police asked people to avoid the area of King Street between Carolina and Columbus around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday because of a situation at a business that appeared to be a liquor/convenience store next to The Recovery Room.
Officers spent much of the night speaking to someone inside, who they described as a “distraught individual,” breaking a door and throwing items into the street.
According to a police report, officers began speaking with the man through the front doorway and said the individual was “extremely irate,” displaying signs of paranoia, and swinging a metal baseball bat in the air knocking over bottles.
The report stated the man told police he did the damage to his own business because he wanted law enforcement to assist him in investigating potential human trafficking issues, sexual abuse of his family and narcotic activity in the area.
He was offered medical assistant several times, but he told officers he would not come out without his children being there.
The person was still inside the store early Wednesday morning. Our crews observed broken windows and debris on the ground outside.
Witnesses said the person inside had been throwing out large bottles of liquor and other items outside of the store, causing damage to the door and shattering glass onto the sidewalk.
Just after noon on Wednesday, the Charleston Police Department announced the situation had been resolved peacefully. They said the person who was inside the business “walked out of the business, got into his vehicle and left the city.”
They said there was never any threat to the community.