HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Bond has been set for the driver who was arrested for lighting the inside of his car on fire during a vehicle chase and knocking a Lowcountry police officer over on I-95 in Hampton County.
The Yemassee Police Department says Juan Lara Orozco, 59, had his bond set at $22,000 Saturday night at the Hampton County Detention Center.
They say he has been charged with arson, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, failure to stop for blue light with body injury, improper parking, and resisting arrest.
Police say he’s from Connelly Springs, North Carolina.
The police department said Officer Laura Osborne was released from the Hampton Regional Medical Hospital where she was in stable condition following the Friday afternoon incident.
“Her injuries were non-life-threatening and were consistent with those of being knocked down by an open car door quickly,” town officials said.
Orozco was transported to Colleton Medical Center, released and transported to the Hampton County Detention Center.
The incident started at 3:30 p.m. when the police department received a call for service from Hampton County 911 to check on a car that was reportedly driving against the flow of traffic on I-95 coming into Yemassee.
“Officers and Highway Patrol Troopers made contact with the vehicle at Mile marker 39 and identified a male subject in the vehicle,” YPD officials said.
According to police, officers attempted to speak with Orozco, who refused to roll down his windows or leave the vehicle. A report states that after a few minutes, he began pouring alcohol in the inside of his car and attempted to ignite a lighter.
Officers said they then broke the window, and when they opened the door, Orozco put his car in reverse which struck an officer. He then traveled northbound on I-95.
As other officers were pursuing Orozco, he lit the interior of the car on fire once he got to Colleton County which resulted in a crash, authorities reported.
Police say he then left the vehicle and ran into a wooded area next to I-95.
Officers captured him and secured the area until Colleton County Fire/Rescue arrived on scene to extinguish the car which was fully involved.
Orozco is scheduled for a Bond Hearing at 5 p.m. at the Hampton County Detention Center Saturday.