COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Deputies in Colleton County issued multiple citations this week after twice finding large groups of people gathered in the same area, ignoring Governor McMaster’s ban on groups of three or more.
According to the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to a known location for illegal street racing in Smoaks on April 1st and discovered a large crowd of about 150 people gathered.
Officials say numerous citations were issued and the group cooperated with law enforcement and left the area.
Deputies began patrolling the same area of Hwy 21 near Phoenix Circle the next day and found another crowd of approximately 60 vehicles and over 100 people gathered in the area.
More than 30 citations were issued to people from Colleton, Dorchester, Orangeburg, and Beaufort Counties for a violation Governor McMaster’s order, which is carried under the State of Emergency.
“The actions of these individuals represent a shameful disregard for the safety of the public and the orders of the Governor of South Carolina,” the department said. “This type of activity will not be tolerated. The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office will continue to do everything in our power to ensure the safety and security of our citizens.”
Deputies say the citations carry a penalty of fines, jail time, or both. They said this is the first time during the coronavirus pandemic that Colleton County deputies have issued citations for violation of the Governor’s order of a State of Emergency.