One of the road signs memorializing a York County law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty early this year has been vandalized in an attempted theft, police said.
Det. Mike Doty of the York County Sheriff’s office died Jan. 17. He was shot the day before in a domestic violence incident where three other officers were wounded.
Carowinds Boulevard, between Interstate 77 and the North Carolina state line, was named for Doty after he died.
“This is a despicable and disgraceful act,” said York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson. “This is an outrage against the memory of Mike Doty.”
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Signs that say “Det. Mike Doty Memorial Highway,” are at both ends of a mile stretch of the road.
The sign honoring Doty closer to the North Carolina state line was discovered on the side of Carowinds Boulevard late Friday, said sheriff’s Lt. Robert Wooten.
Around 11 p.m. Friday, a passing motorist noticed the sign was missing, Wooten said.
Deputies went to the scene and found the sign on a berm next to the poles it had been bolted upon, Wooten said. The legs of the sign had been unbolted and three of the bolts holding the sign to the legs had been loosened, Wooten said.
Deputies classified the crime as an attempted theft, reports show.
Wooten, patrol supervisor for the Fort Mill area for the sheriff’s office, said the sign signified Mike Doty’s commitment to the area, where he was a part of the county drug unit.
‘’This sign is more than a piece of metal,” Wooten said. ‘That sign means something to all of us at the sheriff’s office. It means something to this community, too. It matters, that sign.”
The sign was not damaged, and will be put back up by S.C. Department of Transportation workers, said Wooten and Tolson.
The S.C. General Assembly voted unanimously days after Doty’s death to name Carowinds Boulevard in Doty’s honor.
“The public needs to know that the signs for Mike Doty will always be there,” Tolson said. “That road is named for him for a reason. He gave his life for this county and its people.”
Investigators were able to recover some evidence, but no arrests have been made. Tolson declined to say what the evidence was.
“We have some evidence that we hope will lead to who did this,” Tolson said.
Sheriff’s office sergeants Buddy Brown and Randy Clinton, and York Police Department Sgt. Kyle Cummings, were wounded in the January shooting incident where Doty was killed.
Christian McCall is serving a life sentence without parole after pleading guilty to murder in May in Doty’s death. McCall also pleaded guilty to three counts of attempted murder concerning the other officers.