Crime

York County suspect rams cop car, flushes ‘dangerous’ drugs next to kids, police say

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A drug suspect rammed head-on into a police car with two undercover officers inside Wednesday night before leading law enforcement on a chase from Rock Hill to Fort Mill, York County drug agents said.

Officers caught the suspect and his girlfriend at the couple’s Fort Mill home on First Street around 8:30 p.m. They also found drugs in the house, said Marvin Brown, commander of the York County Drug Enforcement Unit.

The suspect was flushing drugs down the toilet with the children, ages 2 and 10, nearby, Brown said.

The officers in the police car that was hit were not seriously injured, but the collision was violent and disabled the police car, Brown said.

“The officers are going to be sore because they were hit head-on by the suspect,” Brown said. “He hit the narc car to get away.”

The undercover narcotics officers were not named.

Roger Curtis Harris, 29, of Fort Mill, the driver who rammed the car, is charged with hit and run with property damage and failure to stop for blue lights, according to police and jail records. He is being held for warrant service on several pending drug charges, according to police reports.

Curtis has previous convictions for two felony drug charges for which he served a year in prison, South Carolina court records show.

Harris’ girlfriend, Heather Lauren Pritchard, 32, is being held on service of warrants for two counts of felony child neglect and drug charges, according to Brown and police booking documents.

The incident started close to North Cherry Road, near Celanese Road, in the parking lot that serves a pet store, said Brown and other drug unit officers. Harris tried to flee officers in his vehicle when he rammed the police undercover car that was trying to block the parking lot exit, Brown said.

Harris threw drugs out of the car, Brown said. Police recovered about 50 fentanyl opioid pills and two bags containing drugs believed to be heroin, Brown said.

“The drugs were thrown where any person, a child, anyone, could have picked up the dangerous narcotics,” Brown said.

Harris then fled north in his vehicle with a front bumper hanging off on U.S. 21 toward Fort Mill and went into his home on First Street, Brown said. Officers found more drugs near a bathroom toilet where Harris was flushing drugs, Brown said.

S.C. Department of Social Services was called to take custody of the children, Brown said. The children were not injured, he said.

S.C. Highway Patrol was called to the wreck site in Rock Hill to investigate the collision between the suspect’s car and the police car because it involved law enforcement.

Curtis and Pritchard are being held at the York County jail without bond, pending service of warrants and first appearances before a magistrate judge.

Check back for updates.

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Andrew Dys covers breaking news and public safety for The Herald, where he has been a reporter and columnist since 2000. He has won 51 South Carolina Press Association awards for his coverage of crime, race, justice, and people. He is author of the book “Slice of Dys” and his work is in the U.S. Library of Congress.

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