A 32-year-old Charleston man arrested Sunday on charges of huffing spray-paint denied the accusation and told police officers that he was trying to use the paint to catch the “devil worshippers” trying to sexually batter him, according to an incident report.
Carl McGuirt IV of Meeting Street faces a count of sniffing aromatic hydrocarbons. Since 2006, McGuirt has five convictions on similar charges, according to the State Law Enforcement Division.
He remained in jail today in lieu of $1,092 bail.
About 1:45 a.m. Sunday, officers from the Charleston Police Department were patrolling a marshy area near U.S. Highway 17 and the Ashley River when they reported hearing loud sounds.
The officers checked out a stand of trees, where they said they saw McGuirt clutching a 4-inch knife, spinning in circles and talking to himself.
McGuirt dropped the knife when the police asked him to, and the officers handcuffed the disoriented man, their report stated.
That’s when the police started smelling the spray-paint. They noticed the gold paint covering portions of McGuirt’s mouth, face, hands, clothes, arms and feet.
The officers found three paint cans, each with a hole punched in the side, on the ground.
While the police ushered McGuirt from the woods, they said he talked about how he would spray paint on a rag, then cover his mouth with the cloth. But he wasn’t using the paint to get high, he argued; he was using it for “evidentiary value,” according to the report.
“He stated that he sprays the gold paint and places the rag on his mouth,” the report stated. “When the devil worshippers come after him and try to orally sexually assault him, the paint gets on their genitals, and he can use that information to prosecute them.”
McGuirt has a lengthy arrest history that indicates his struggles with the abuse of such substances.
In the past six years, he has been arrested and later convicted on five glue-sniffing charges in Walhalla, unincorporated Oconee County and North Charleston.
His criminal history also shows convictions for littering, assault and battery, trespassing, possessing dangerous or corrosive substances and illegally using 911.
Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.