Suspect pursuits must run in family

Kay Nash (left), wife of Dorchester County Sheriff Ray Nash (right), pursued a bank-robbery suspect to a stand of woods near the Appian Way Mobile Home Park Wednesday. 'I'm not a hero,' Kay Nash said. 'If I were a hero I would have caught him.'

Sheriff's wife stays on trail of man she saw rob bank

The man in a blue hooded sweatshirt caught Kay Nash's attention Wednesday while she waited in the bank drive-up lane to cash a check.

Then she saw the handkerchief over his mouth, the way he gestured over the counter at the tellers. Even through the drive-up window she could see what looked like a gun barrel sticking out from his sweatshirt sleeve.

She grabbed her cell phone and dialed the number of someone she knows well — her husband, Dorchester County Sheriff Ray Nash.

If the robber counted on getting a lead on police pursuit, he was out of luck. With police on the phone, she wheeled her car around to the far side of the First Federal of Charleston bank on Dorchester Road to get a description and possible license plate.

When the suspect ran from the bank, she followed him in her car around the corner of Plantation Square shopping center at Dorchester and Ashley Phosphate roads.

Sheriff Nash talked to his wife on one phone and to a police dispatcher on another while "the biggest chicken in the world," in her own words, followed a suspect she was wasn't going to let get away.

"I was shaky," she said.

"It was scary," Sheriff Nash said. "But she was doing such a good job relaying information I went into my police mode. She was mad, I can tell you she was mad."

As Kay Nash pursued the suspect, the dye pack in the money bag exploded, sending a shower of bill packs and "a beautiful, pink-red mist" into the air. He paused long enough to grab the money, then ran through a field into the woods.

Standing with her husband at a police perimeter line at the Appian Way Mobile Home Park, Kay Nash told him where she saw the suspect go. Within minutes a helicopter was overhead, and police were combing the woods and the mobile home park. A police dog found a dye-splattered shirt and pants under a pile of pine cones.

The suspect was still at large Wednesday night.

Authorities wouldn't say how much money was taken in the 3 p.m. robbery. All Kay Nash knows is that the money intended for her was in a teller's hand when the robber told the teller to turn over the cash.

"I'm not a hero," Kay Nash said. "If I were a hero, I would have caught him."