A man who led police on a short chase Sunday night has been charged with a number of crimes, including driving under the influence and child endangerment.
According to a report from the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were dispatched to S.C. Highway 246 South after someone called to report a drunk driver. While en route to that location, deputies were advised that the vehicle, a white SUV, had turned toward Greenwood onto S.C. Highway 72/221 East. A deputy spotted the vehicle at the intersection of Milford Springs Road and turned around to pursue the vehicle. The SUV then cut off another vehicle and sped up, going as fast as 70 mph in a 40 mph zone. The deputy activated his lights and siren, but the SUV did not stop.
According to the report, the SUV finally came to a stop at a red light at the intersection of Bypass 72 Northeast and S.C. Highway 72/221 East. The deputy exited his vehicle and instructed the driver to exit the vehicle. The SUV then ran the red light, turning left onto Bypass 72 NE. The deputy got back in his vehicle and continued pursuing the SUV with lights and siren activated.
The report states that the SUV again came to a stop at the intersection of Bypass 72 Northeast and Emerald Road. The deputy again exited his vehicle, ordering the driver to exit the vehicle, but the SUV again ran a red light, turning left onto Emerald Road.
According to the report, the deputy got back in his vehicle and continued to pursue the SUV until it turned into Park Terrace Apartments and parked. The deputy pulled in behind the SUV, blocking it in, and ordered the driver to unlock the door and get out of the vehicle. When the driver, later identified as John Robert Sayles, 41, of 106-C Park Terrace Drive, exited the vehicle he was placed on the ground and handcuffed. When the deputy rolled Sayles over, he could smell a strong odor of alcohol and saw that Sayles had urinated on himself.
The report states that the deputy observed two juvenile males, later identified as Sayles’ 10- and 12-year-old sons, in the back seat of the SUV. Neither child was wearing a seat belt, but appeared unharmed. The deputy also observed two Seagram’s 200 mL gin bottles, one three quarters empty and one half empty.
The report states that the children were turned over to their mother and Sayles was taken to the Greenwood County Detention Center, where he was given an alcohol breathalyzer test. Sayles registered a .22 BAC on the test. A background check of Sayles revealed a prior conviction within 10 years for DUI and that his driver’s license was currently suspended.
Sayles has been charged with DUI, driving under suspension, failure to stop for a blue light, improper lane change, no proof of insurance, open liquor in vehicle and two counts of child endangerment. His bond was set at $16,207.50 cash or surety, which he posted on Monday.