Vandalism suspect arrested after boat sinks


Charleston police late Tuesday caught a vandalism suspect who had to swim to shore after the boat he was in began to sink, a report states.

Brian Ray White, 36, of Maybank Highway is charged with three counts of property crime enhancement, police said. The statute is used when suspects have been convicted of previous offenses against property, such as shoplifting, theft, vandalism or fraud.

Officers were dispatched about 11 p.m. to 43 East Bay St. to investigate a vandalism complaint, according to an incident report.

A resident told officers he was upstairs standing on his porch when he saw a man in an orange shirt and khaki pants standing in his driveway. The man in the driveway said his name was “Brian” and that he was looking for “Ms. Palmer,” the report said.

The two men exchanged words and the man in the orange shirt was asked to leave, police said. He was seen walking across the property toward the nearby Carolina Yacht Club, the report states.

Witnesses moments later heard loud crashing and banging noises, police said. The side mirrors of multiple vehicles on the street appeared to have been kicked off.

A short time later, officers found a man sitting on the dock who matched the suspect’s description, according to the report. His clothing was drenched.

The man, who officers identified as White, told police he was forced to swim to shore when his boat began to sink.

He gave varying accounts on how many people were on board. He first told officers that he was alone, but later reported that two people whom he met at a bar also were on the boat.

Witnesses reported seeing him alone prior to the sinking.

Paramedics transported White to Medical University Hospital with a dislocated right shoulder, police said. He also complained of having trouble breathing, according to the report.

White has prior convictions for check fraud and possession of stolen property, police said.

White is being held at the Charleston County jail, police spokesman Charles Francis said.

Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at