Man with penny in his mouth leads Winthrop police on chase

jmcfadden@heraldonline.comMay 20, 2013 

— A man hid a penny in his mouth while he ran from Winthrop University police officers after he led them on a car chase through downtown before crashing into a flower bed on Sunday.

Just after midnight, police saw a green Mazda swerve in and out of lanes across Cherry Road and then Constitution Boulevard, according to a Winthrop police report. Officers pursued the car with blue lights flashing, but the driver continued swerving on the roadway, turning onto Lister Street and then Drake Court before driving in a circle back onto Lister.

The driver turned off the car’s headlights as he turned back onto Constitution Boulevard and then took a left onto Columbia Avenue. The car ran off the road and through the grass before the driver turned onto West White Street, eventually making its way down Black Street and Workman Street, where the driver collided with the curb and a raised wood-framed flower bed.

The driver, identified as Ricardo Long, ran from the car and towards Main Street, the report states. Police chased Long, 29, and caught him, taking him to the ground before handcuffing him.

Long’s speech was slurred, his eyes bloodshot and he smelled like alcohol, the report states. Police took Long to the Rock Hill jail, where police found a penny in his mouth.

Long, of 1225 Shenandoah Circle, is charged with driving under the influence, failure to stop for a blue light, driving under suspension and resisting arrest.

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