A gun-toting grandfather was arrested in Rock Hill on Saturday after police say he jumped into his sports utility vehicle and chased his granddaughter’s father, intentionally crashing into the man’s car to stop him from taking the teenage girl away, deputies say.
A woman, 64, called deputies at about 6 p.m. to report that her former son-in-law was at the house trying to get his daughter, whom he does not have custody of, according to a York County Sheriff’s report. By the time deputies arrived, the man, 38, of Lincolnton, N.C., had already left the scene with his 14-year-old daughter, who ran out of the house and into his truck. The woman told deputies her husband and the girl’s grandfather, Gary Thomasson, 64, got into his car and followed the father down Mount Gallant Road. Deputies learned that both of the vehicles, a white Trailblazer and a white Suburban, crashed on Mount Gallant near Bowater Road. One of the suspects was believed to have a gun.
At the crash site, deputies found the Trailblazer with the most damage, the report states. The father told deputies Thomasson followed him on Mount Gallant, at one point passing him on the left and getting in front of him and then braking to cause him to stop abruptly. The report states the father turned around in a driveway, but Thomasson continued following, driving down the road in reverse. When the father turned around a second time, Thomasson crossed over the center of the road and approached him head on. The father stopped his SUV, but told deputies Thomasson drove his Suburban into the Trailblazer.
Thomasson then got out of the Suburban, the report states, after grabbing something from his center console, walked to the Trailblazer, unlocked the rear passenger door by reaching in from the front passenger window and began pulling on the teenage girl to get her out of the car. The girl told deputies that she wanted to go with her father and sent him text messages asking him to pick her up, the report states. Thomasson, who deputies said appeared calm and directed traffic around the crash, admitted that he followed the father, but that the man ran into his truck. Deputies reported that the Suburban was in the wrong travel lane, and that two other people, an adult woman and a 3-year-old child, were also in the Trailblazer during the crash.
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Thomasson told deputies that he had a gun in his car, the report states. Deputies arrested Thomasson, charging him with four counts of second-degree assault and battery, malicious injury to property and unlawful carrying of a weapon. He was released from jail Sunday on a $14,000 bond.