UPDATE: Name released of naked New Ellenton man who crashed car after high-speed chase

By: Chad Mills Email
By: Chad Mills Email
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Darrick Ray Cooper (WRDW-TV)

Darrick Ray Cooper (WRDW-TV)

Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW) -- Officers are now saying the suspect in Wednesday night's high-speed chase was "in an altered mental state due to illegal drug use."

The Aiken Department of Public Safety says 41-year-old Darrick Ray Cooper of New Ellenton was swerving all over the road and crashed after the car hit a fire hydrant.

After the accident, the suspect fought with officers and was arrested after being tased.

Officers say this isn't the first time the suspect did something like this, and the last time, it took eight officers to get him in custody.

Initial report:

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW) -- Officers say a chase involving a naked man with alleged mental problems ended in a crash near Easy Street and Whiskey Road in Aiken.

New Ellenton Police Department Sgt. Hugh Ray says the chase started in New Ellenton just after 11 p.m. Ray says officers got a call about a man causing a disturbance on Fairlane Avenue.

Ray says deputies and officers responded to find an unclothed man calling himself "God." When officers tried to calm the man, Ray says the suspect ran and ultimately stole a neighbor's car that had keys left in it.

He says a chase ensued that reached speeds up to 125 miles per hour and ended when the suspect crashed in a wooded area next to Whiskey Road and Easy Street in Aiken.

"With the altered state he was in, he was a dire threat to the community," Ray said.

The suspect was taken to Aiken Regional Medical Center by Aiken County EMS. Officials say his injuries appeared to be minor.

The Aiken County Sheriff's Office, the Aiken Department of Public Safety, the South Carolina Highway Patrol and the Jackson Police Department all assisted the New Ellenton Police Department.

Ray says the outcome could have been much worse. Not only did the suspect lead officers on a high-speed chase through a busy South Aiken, but he also reached high speeds on the narrow, winding portion of Whiskey Road between Boardman Road and South Boundary.

Ray says the suspect, who has yet to be named, will be charged with grand theft auto and a number of traffic charges.


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