Charleston County cruiser collides with minibike in Hanahan, 13-year-old hospitalized
Neon-colored spray paint remained on the black asphalt along a residential Hanahan street on Wednesday. The marks were left by state troopers investigating a crash a day earlier between an off-duty Charleston County sheriff’s deputy and a 13-year-old boy driving a minibike.
The boy, identified by a family member as Jasmon Grant, was hospitalized with a broken leg after the 4:39 p.m. crash.
Charleston County Sheriff’s Deputy Shawn James was not injured and remains on active duty, but his cruiser received about $1,000 worth of damage, Sheriff’s Capt. Kevin Whited said.
James was driving a marked cruiser west on Allison Avenue on Tuesday when the minibike pulled out from Melvin Drive and into his path, according to Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Judd Jones.
The collision remains under investigation, and no charges had been filed late Wednesday, authorities said.
Grant’s cousin, 47-year-old Manta Branche of Hanahan, said he was driving around his neighborhood looking for Grant, who had gone for a ride, when he saw blue flashing lights and realized the teen had been in an accident. “I saw the motorbike underneath the patrol car,” Branche said. “He got knocked off his shoes.”
Grant had just received the minibike as a birthday gift last week, Branche said. He stays with Branche while his father works after school every day and was only allowed to ride the bike on the neighborhood streets, Branche said.
Branche, who commonly refers to Grant as his nephew, questioned how fast the deputy was traveling at the time of the collision and said he wants accountability in the incident.
“I was very angry,” he said. “My nephew didn’t just get tapped on the bike. My nephew got thrown off the bike.”
Whited said it was not appropriate for him to respond to Branche’s statements while the state investigation is continuing.
James, a patrol deputy for the past 12 years, is known for his aggressive approach to law enforcement and he has been involved in a number of high-profile incidents over the years.
In June of last year, James chased a speeding driver in a pursuit that ended with a crash and injuries in North Charleston. That incident occurred soon after he returned to duty after shooting a suspect in April after the man reportedly drove his car at the deputy, reports stated.
Glenn Smith contributed to this report. Reach Natalie Caula at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.