AIKEN, SC — A man who was naked allegedly stole a vehicle in New Ellenton, led lawmen on a high-speed chase into Aiken and was stunned by a Taser after crashing the vehicle near downtown Aiken late on Wednesday, according to the Aiken Department of Public Safety.
Darrick Ray Cooper, 41, of Fairlane Avenue in New Ellenton, was charged with reckless driving, driving under the influence, driving under suspension and failure to stop for blue lights. He was placed in the Aiken County detention center, where he remained on Thursday afternoon.
Cooper got into a vehicle on Sizemore Avenue in New Ellenton and stole it, according to an incident report. He left New Ellenton and headed toward Aiken on Whiskey Road, traveling in excess of 100 mph. Officers from Aiken Public Safety and the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the chase, and reported that the vehicle Cooper was driving was “all over the road” and even swerved into the oncoming lane.
Officers deployed a tire-deflating device at the intersection of Whiskey and Powderhouse roads, deflating the right front tire.
The vehicle continued north on Whiskey Road and was reportedly driving on a rim when it passed the H. Odell Weeks Activities Center. It continued north on Whiskey Road at a high rate of speed before striking a fire hydrant and fence at the corner of Whiskey Road and Easy Street, according to reports.
Two officers were struggling with Cooper and trying to get him out of the vehicle, according to the report.
“The subject was actively fighting with the officer attempting to take him into custody,” the report stated. “The subject was swinging his arms at the officers and trying to move his legs to wedge himself into the vehicle to prevent being removed.”
An officer then deployed his Taser, incapacitating Cooper and allowing officers to place him into handcuffs and leg shackles, according to the report. He was then placed onto a backboard and into an ambulance. Fire crews arrived to put out a small brush fire that had started under the vehicle.
New Ellenton police reported to Aiken Public Safety earlier that Cooper had “an altered mental state due to illegal drug use,” and that “the last time he did this, it took eight officers to take him into custody.”
Cooper has multiple arrests on his record, including charges of manufacturing and distributing methamphetamine, third-degree assault and battery and shoplifting.
MCT REGIONAL NEWS