Sheriff: 26-year-old led chase on dangerous part of I-20

Published: Jun. 9, 2015 at 3:36 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 19, 2015 at 3:46 AM EDT
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KERSHAW COUNTY, SC (WIS) - The Kershaw County Sheriff's Office says a man led them on a chase on Interstate 20, where speeds got up to 102 miles per hour.

On Sunday afternoon, two deputies were monitoring traffic on I-20 when they say they saw Joshua Ryan Payton, 26, speeding in a gold-colored Dodge Charger. Deputies began pursuing Payton, who continued driving at a high speed, passing motorists in the emergency lane.

According to deputies, as Payton got off I-20 at exit 101 he lost control of his vehicle and ran into a concrete median divider. Deputies say while Payton's vehicle was still moving, he jumped out and ran into the woods but deputies quickly subdued him with a stun gun.

"It's that section of I-20 that I'm told is the most dangerous section in the state from Lee County maybe to the Wateree River. We have a lot of fatalities in there,” said Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews. “The deputy got out of his car, chased him down, and the guy kind of got into an aggressive, you know, stance with him. He said, 'I'm going to tase you.' The guy continued, so the officer tased him, and that was pretty much it for this guy.”

Deputies say, after Payton's arrest, he told them the reason he ran was because he had “stuff” in his car. When deputies searched Payton's car they say they found two ounces of marijuana, two grams of crack and an unidentified substance.

“We'll wait for SLED to come back with the analysis on that,” Matthews said of the substance.

A second person in the vehicle did not run off, was identified and released.

Payton is charged with speeding 25 miles or above over the speed limit, driving under suspension, failure to stop for a blue light, possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of cocaine base. Payton was transported to the Kershaw County Detention Center where he remains pending a bond hearing.

According to Matthews, Payton is currently out on bond in Greenville County on narcotics charges.

“We have to ask ourselves why someone carrying illegal drugs would be driving 102 miles per hour, drawing attention to himself,” said Sheriff Matthews. “Fortunately no one was injured or killed because of this man's irresponsible actions.”

Payton has previous arrests for numerous narcotics violations, failure to stop for a blue light, driving without a license, minor in possession of alcohol, giving false information, possession of a firearm by a convicted violent felon and driving under suspension. Sheriff Matthews said he doubts his agency's arrest will have much of an impact. He said a lot of these cases are pleaded down to nothing in court.

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