Local Update - January 22, 2007

Fire damages Popeyes in Aiken

Fire investigators in Aiken are looking into the cause of a fire at the Popeyes restaurant on York Street.

Employees noticed the flames when they got to work around 1 o'clock this morning. Then investigators were called back out after it rekindled four hours later.

No one was hurt, but the building is heavily damaged.

Right now investigators say it doesn't look like arson.

Armed robbery suspect escapes police

A manhunt is underway this morning after a Graniteville man managed to escape from handcuffs and a patrol car.

Aiken County deputies are looking for 18-year-old Jack Cooper.

Deputies arrested Cooper Sunday morning in connection with an armed robbery at a Mexican restaurant in Aiken.

They put him in the back of a patrol car, but he got away.

Cooper's mother Linda is pleading that he turn himself in soon.

"If anybody out there sees my son, please don't hurt him, because he wouldn't hurt you. He's not dangerous," she said. "Jack, please don't hurt yourself. Please don't. Just come home."

"We certainly will catch him," Lt. Michael Frank said. "It's just a matter of time."

Right now Cooper faces charges of armed robbery and possession of a firearm while committing a crime.

He will not be charged with escape because he was on his way to jail. By law, a suspect must be in the detention center or in the custody of a detention center officer to be charged with escape.

Peach Orchard Circle K robbed

Deputies in Augusta are searching for a robbery suspect.

It happened at the Circle K Sunday night around 10:30 in the 3300 block of Peach Orchard Road.

If you have any information, please call the sheriff's department.

Parents of assault suspect arrested

Aiken County deputies are looking for Robert Carver. He's wanted for a sexual assault that happened last November.

Deputies arrested Carver's parents, Randy and Pamela Kitchings of Wagener. They say the two helped their son avoid arrest by lying to deputies.

Man wanted in connection to Wrens shooting

Wrens deputies need your help finding 28-year-old Jerry Kemp.

Investigators believe he's connected to a shooting that happened Saturday.

Kemp is 5' 9" and weighs 165 pounds.

The victim, 29-year-old Henry Smith of Wrens, suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen. He's listed in stable condition.

If you know where Jerry Kemp is, call the Wrens Sheriff Department.

Man charged in dog-mauling death of baby son

A 22-month-old boy was dragged from his bed and killed by dogs in November. Now his father, 25-year-old Michael Young, Jr. of Bamberg, is charged with criminal negligence and disregard for the safety of a child.

Young's four pit bulls mauled his 22-month old son to death. The boy was asleep when the dogs dragged him from his bed and killed him.

Young says he was outside talking to his landlord at the time.

There was no evidence the dogs were trained to fight.