SLED arrests former North Charleston officer who shot himself
State Law Enforcement Division agents today arrested a former North Charleston police sergeant accused of staging his own shooting on July 4.
Charles Edward Bullard, Jr., 46, of Hollywood, is charged with misconduct in office, a misdemeanor with penalties of up to one year in prison and/or a fine of up to $1,000, and reporting/giving false information to law enforcement, a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to 30 days in prison or a fine of up to $200, SLED spokesman Thom Berry said.
Bullard surrendered to SLED agents this morning and went before Magistrate Linda Lombard, who released him on a $10,470 personal recognizance bond, Berry said.
The arrest resulted from an investigation conducted by SLED at the request of the North Charleston Police Department. The case will be prosecuted by the Ninth Circuit Solicitorsí Office.
Arrest warrants state that Bullard shot himself in an attempt to commit suicide, but police sources have indicated he was looking to garner sympathy and, in turn, financial help.
Bullardís attorney, Emily Ayers of Charleston, recently said the episode was partially brought on by the 22,000 posts his former mistress made on Twitter, some of which concerned his alleged neglect of parental responsibilities. The mistress gave birth to his son.
Bullard was fired from the North Charleston Police Department after the agencyís chief said he shot his own protective vest July 4, then reported that someone else had attacked him.
The 15-year veteran of the cityís police force was on patrol early on Independence Day when he radioed to dispatchers that he had been shot by a man who emerged from the dark and wrestled with him behind a Rivers Avenue carpet store.
His sidearm went off during a struggle for the weapon, he told investigators at the time, and a bullet struck the abdominal portion of his vest.
North Charleston Police Chief Jon Zumalt has said investigators quickly realized that his story didnít make sense. The chief announced Bullardís firing two days later, when he said during a news conference that the sergeant concocted the story and had shot himself.
Bullard reportedly underwent treatment at an area behavioral health facility after leaving the department.
Reach Glenn Smith at 937-5556 or Twitter.com/glennsmith5.