Hit-and-run suspect was awaiting trial in underage sex case
A man accused of injuring four children in a hit-and-run accident in Sangaree was awaiting trial at the time on a charge of having sex with an underage girl, authorities said.
Philip Andrew Wucherer, 22, was charged in July of last year with second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, according to court records. He was apparently free on bail in that case when he allegedly slammed his car into four children in Sangaree Saturday night and then drove off, authorities said.
A judge set his bail at $600,000 this morning in that case. Wucherer was arrested just after noon Tuesday on three counts of leaving the scene of a collision involving great bodily injury and one count of leaving the scene of a collision involving personal injury.
Wucherer is accused of driving silver Ford Taurus sped through a curve on Paddock Way around 11:30 p.m. Saturday and struck the four children, who were sitting on a curb trying to pick up a neighbor’s Wi-Fi signal. Sydney Hopkins, 10; Evan Hopkins, 13; Dorothy Jackson, 14; and Harleigh Eury, 10, were taken to Medical University Hospital.
Sydney was released Monday. The others remained at the hospital Tuesday and were listed in good condition.
Tracey Hopkins, mother of three of the injured children, said she believes the bail amount is fitting for the crime.
“It turned out well. The judge was very fair. He treated us well,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins said she’s comforted in knowing that if Wucherer manages to make bond he will still be monitored, but she doubts he’ll be out of jail any time soon.
“I don’t think he’ll be able to get it. He’s not getting out. I’m happy about that,” Hopkins said. “It feels good to have him caught.”
Wucherer is awaiting trial on allegations that he knowingly slept with a 15-year-old girl last year, according to a Summerville police report.
Wucherer told police he had sex with the teen three times in June 2011 at her home but didn’t know how old she was until after they were done. But Wucherer acknowledged that he had sex with the girl twice more at a later date even though he knew she was just 15, a police report stated.
Wucherer has a criminal history dating to 2006, when he was arrested on a charge of first-degree burglary, court records show. The disposition of that was case not available. In addition to the criminal sexual conduct with a minor charge, he also has a pending charge of criminal domestic violence from an incident on Isle of Palms last year, according to State Law Enforcement Division records.
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