A Santee man is accused of wrapping a rope around a woman’s neck and forcing her to give him money.
Trevell Garner, 21, of 259 Jack Branch Road, is charged with one count each of armed robbery and kidnapping. He’s being held at the Orangeburg County Detention Center.
He’s accused of robbing the Family Dollar at 6406 Old Number Six Highway, Elloree, on Thursday.
Warrants allege that Garner “did use a rope-type object around the neck of the manager at the store while forcing her to comply with his demands for money.”
Municipal Judge Chasity Sanders Avinger denied his bond on Friday.
Avinger told Garner she denied his bond because she had concerns about the safety of the community due to the severity of the crimes he allegedly committed. Also, he is on probation for a 2016 strong-arm robbery conviction.
Garner told the court, “I'm a hardworking man. The money I do get, I have to put up to save.
“I'm saving for a car now. The reason I carry a lot of money with me is because I'm looking for the right classical car now. The reason I was in Elloree is because I was looking for work to get money for the car that I want.”
He also mentioned that he takes medication for seizures. Garner claimed he wasn’t given proper medical treatment when he was last held at the OCDC in 2016.
Online court records show that Garner has a pending civil case accusing the jail’s contracted medical provider of not giving him proper care.
Elloree Police Chief Shawn Murphree said the robbery occurred at 8:30 a.m. Thursday as the manager was stocking shelves in the store.
Garner allegedly entered the store, located the manager and demanded that she give him money.
“He put a rope, a piece of string, some type of rope object around her throat and drug her off the aisle,” Murphree said.
The two got into a physical struggle and the manager was able to free herself, the chief said.
Garner allegedly forced her to the front of the store where she emptied the cash register and safe.
Murphree said Garner fled the store and the victim called law enforcement.
Within 30 seconds, Elloree Assistant Police Chief Earl Kinsey arrived at the store.
Less than an hour later, police arrested Garner on Railroad Avenue, about three or four blocks from the incident location.
Garner appeared to be wearing the same clothes and shoes as the person in the video surveillance footage, Murphree said.
Murphree said law enforcement was able to apprehend Garner quickly because of the response from multiple law enforcement agencies including the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office, S.C. Highway Patrol, State Transport Police, Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, Eutawville Police Department, Holly Hill Police Department and Santee Police Department.
He said the OCSO K-9 unit was able to track Garner’s trail from the Family Dollar all the way to Railroad Avenue, where police took him into custody.
Murphree said 90 percent of the money missing from the store was returned to them.
If convicted, Garner faces up to 30 years in prison.