Aiken man arrested for threatening workers at R.E. Phelon

Gary Supeau

Gary Supeau (WRDW-TV)

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, May 9, 2013

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW) -- A little more than 15 years ago, there was panic at R.E. Phelon on University Parkway in Aiken. An angry worker who'd been fired came back to kill. Hastings Wise, the suspect who has since been lethally injected, killed four and injured three workers.

"We ended up closing our business for the day and just tending to their employees. We offered them refreshments and the use of the phones, and if they needed a ride home, we would take them home," said Lynette Barton of Barton Radiators, who worked -- and still works -- right across the street from Phelon.

On Thursday, an Aiken County Sheriff's Office report has surfaced about another potential threat at R.E. Phelon.

"It does make you hurt," Barton said. "It makes you hurt and feel for the employees of Phelon because they've been through so much with the other tragedy."

Aiken County deputies and investigators were on scene early Thursday morning. A report says a fired worker has sent threatening emails to the man at Phelon who fired him. In that email, he allegedly referenced the 1997 shooting and stated he had a "Big surprise coming your way. Enjoy."

"The personnel out there take it very seriously. Of course, we take it very seriously, and we're trying to exhaust all investigative means on this to try to find out what's really going on out there," says Capt. Eric Abdullah with the Aiken County Sheriff's Office.

The report says the sender even identified his former boss' home address.

Abdullah says the alleged emailer, 60-year-old Gary Supeau, was arrested Thursday afternoon on four counts of unlawful communications.

"Traditionally, it will full under unlawful communications, which covers, you know, electronic media," he said.

Meanwhile, Barton just hopes the threat remains just that.

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