High-speed chase suspect posts bail

Timothy Shawn McManus, 31, led Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon and deputies on a high-speed chase Monday before being captured near McClellanville. Cannon fired nine .45-caliber bullets at the suspect's pickup truck tires in efforts to stop the truck. MManus is charged with Failure to Stop for blue lights, resisting arrest, driving under suspension more than first. Additional charges are pending.

The Mount Pleasant man who led Sheriff Al Cannon on a 25-mile pursuit this year planned to go back to work and spend time with his family after his release from jail last week.

Absent from Timothy Shawn McManus’ newfound freedom, according to his attorney, is driving.

“All he ever really wanted was to get back to his family and start making a living again,” attorney David Johnson of Charleston said Wednesday. “It’s been a rough haul for him.”

McManus, 31, a married father of three, had feared that another arrest would jeopardize his livelihood in the construction industry when Charleston County’s sheriff tried to stop his Dodge Ram on Jan. 30.

Cannon said he was driving through Mount Pleasant when McManus’ pickup swerved and nearly struck his unmarked Chevrolet Suburban.

The chase reached 120 mph and ended after Cannon and other deputies shot at the pickup’s tires, causing the Dodge to veer off Steed Creek Road in the Francis Marion National Forest.

A police dog bit McManus’ arm as deputies subdued him, and Cannon later slapped a handcuffed McManus in the face, two acts that drew public criticism.

The determination on any charges in the ordeal involving Cannon is now up to Solicitor Kevin Brackett in York County, to where local officials said the case was transferred. Attempts to contact office representatives were not successful.

McManus, who had a history of traffic violations and didn’t have a valid license, had been jailed since the chase. He faces two traffic tickets and misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and failure to stop for blue lights.

His attorney said he made a “standard argument” July 13 in asking a judge to reduce McManus’ bail from $100,000 to $50,000. McManus posted that bail and was released Friday night.

“He’s been in jail for two misdemeanors and traffic violations since this happened,” Johnson said. “He wasn’t a risk of flight or a danger to society.”

The State Law Enforcement Division’s investigation into Cannon’s actions and the use of force remains open, according to spokeswoman Kathryn Richardson. The Sheriff’s Office asked SLED to review multiple facets of the chase, including whether policies were violated.

The deputy who was behind McManus’ truck when it finally stopped, for example, drove at 134 mph to join the chase in his unmarked patrol cruiser. The county’s pursuit policy appears to prohibit such undercover vehicles from participating in pursuits.

Cannon, who remained hesitant to speak about the incident Wednesday, said he hoped McManus would not drive. But the sheriff said McManus was just one of “any number of people on the roads we’re worried about.”

“I am certainly concerned with his driving history,” Cannon said. “But I hope this time (in jail) has made his head straight.”

A judge dropped bail conditions that were set for McManus in April, including a mental-health evaluation and a monitoring bracelet, according to Johnson.

The attorney said he has been in sporadic discussions with prosecutors to resolve the charges against McManus, and that he still is considering civil action against the Sheriff’s Office.

The manner in which McManus was arrested emotionally scarred him, Johnson has said.

Sandy Senn, the county’s attorney, said she “will be ready for anything” in regards to civil litigation.

McManus could not be reached for comment Wednesday. A porch at his Macoma Drive house was lined with tiki torches and fishing poles. A window was covered with a construction sign that said, “Road closed.”

Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.