North Augusta police chase ends with attempted murder charge

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Friday, February 1st, 2019 / News 12 at 6 O'clock

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A high speed chase last night in North Augusta is bringing to light the troubled past of a man police have charged with attempted murder. It has also left a neighborhood shaken.

The chase last night in a neighborhood off of Cherokee Drive, which ended on Birch Street, adds another arrest to 58-year-old Charles Plaster's resume.

At around 9pm last night, neighbor Daniel Long told News 12 he thought he was under fire.

"I was on the phone with 911, because I thought we were being shot at," he said.

The "gunshots" Long heard were actually the sound of truck backfiring after ramming into an Aiken County Sheriff's Office patrol car multiple times.

"My wife got down on the floor, my son woke up crying, and my neighbors were crying because it sounded like someone was trying to break into their house; it was that loud," said Long.

According to an incident report from the Aiken County Sheriff's Office, Plaster left a house on Gilmore Avenue around 8:45pm, a spot only about a quarter mile from where he would end up being pulled over.

The house he came from on Gilmore is also known by police as being a hub for criminal activity.

Plaster already had not one, but TWO attempted murder charges, assault, malicious injury, and more pending.

When he was pulled over by a deputy, he appeared to stop. Then things got interesting.

"It looked like a police car was pushing a truck down the road," Teresa Stone told News 12.

The high speed chase in circles around the neighborhood ended just beyond her driveway, practically in her front yard.

Stone says she would later realize Plaster's truck was actually dragging the patrol car, after he rammed into it several times and the two became hooked together.

"I wasn't completely surprised because it seems like, lately, there's a lot of this going on around here.

Both Stone and Long say criminal activity runs rampant in the area, with people camped out or walking the streets late at night.

They say crime in the area has reached a breaking point.

"In the last five years, it's really gotten worse," Stone lamented.

Long agrees, and says he constantly fears for the life of his five-year-old son.

"I worry about him every day," Long said.

While Plaster is now charged with his third attempted murder, his being behind bars is a small consolation to neighbors who say: something needs to be done to tackle the larger overall crime issue.

The Aiken County police cruiser sustained thousands of dollars worth of damage, but thankfully the deputy is recovering.

The Sheriff's Office has also upped patrols in the area.

Videos of the incident and damage to the car itself are still being used in an ongoing investigation. Check back with New 12 online once the videos from the incident are received.