Dan Rogers, 66 of Campbell Road in Ridgeville, was doing yard work Tuesday morning when two men wandered onto his driveway and asked to use a phone.
“They looked like they had been beaten up,” Rogers said.
The men’s injuries weren’t from a fight, however. According to North Charleston police, the men were bank robbers who had led officers on a chase through rural Dorchester County before crashing their getaway car in a wreck that sent two other people to Medical University Hospital with serious injuries.
Tyrone Darius Ellison, 23, and Ronald Lamont Lance, 27, both of North Charleston, are charged with entering a bank with intent to steal and failure to stop for blue lights, North Charleston police spokesman Spencer Pryor said.
Christopher Nehemiah Coburn, 29, of North Charleston, acted as the men’s getaway driver, Pryor said. Coburn was arrested Monday on the same charges, he said.
Rogers said he hadn’t heard about the North Charleston bank robbery when the men approached him.
Two men had walked into the Sun Trust Bank at Dorchester Road and Club Course Drive with a gun drawn and demanded money shortly before 6 p.m. Monday, police said.
The robbers fled with an undetermined amount of cash. They escaped in a 2007 Hyundai and evaded law enforcement as they sped north on S.C. Highway 61, according to state Highway Patrol troopers.
The men pushed their getaway driver out of the car along the way, Pryor said, and one of them got behind the wheel. Police picked up Coburn shortly after.
The pursuit ended near Givhans when the vehicle crashed into a 1999 Honda not far from Rogers’ home.
Ellison and Lance fled from the wreckage and escaped arrest, Pryor said. Police followed a trail of cash that the men dropped as they ran.
By Tuesday morning, the men found themselves in need of a phone.
One of the men was shirtless and struggled to put weight on his leg, Rogers said. The other had his arm wrapped in a makeshift sling.
“One of them asked if he could call his father to come get him because he needed to go to the hospital,” Rogers said. “He couldn’t seem to get a hold of anybody, so he wanted me to call him a cab.”
Rogers’ wife received a text message from a friend warning of possible bank robbers in their area.
The couple read an article about the robbery on the Internet and looked at the men sitting on their front porch. Surveillance images from the robbery were similar to the men, Rogers said.
“What really sold me was his shoes. He was wearing the same shoes that he had on in the picture,” Rogers said. His wife called police.
Highway Patrol Sgt. Bob Beres said two troopers who were investigating the crash and a Dorchester County sheriff’s deputy responded to the suspicious-person call. It appeared as though the men had spent the night beneath the porch, he said.
Rogers said officers found stolen bank money beneath his home.
The men surrendered without incident, Beres said. All three are being held at the Dorchester County jail.
Andy Paras contributed to this report. Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at Twiter.com/celmorePC.
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