An Orangeburg man has admitted to committing an assault on the night he drove among a group of officers. One Orangeburg Department of Public Safety officer narrowly avoided being hit.
Demetrius Lambright, 30, of 740 Windsor Street, pleaded guilty to first-degree assault and battery on Aug. 12.
Circuit Judge Maite Murphy sentenced Lambright to one year in prison, but gave him credit for having already served one day at the Orangeburg County Detention Center.
As part of his plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed the following charges: hit-and-run with property damage, failure to stop for blue lights, possession of a stolen pistol, possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a violent felony and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.
In the Feb. 24, 2019, incident, officers were working a case at the Cloud 9 Lounge and Bistro at 1664 Russell Street when they saw a silver Toyota Corolla back its way through the parking lot. It was “trailing a very long section of yellow caution tape,” according to the incident report.
Lambright was driving the vehicle.
Officers ordered Lambright to stop and that’s when they saw him slouched in the driver’s seat with his eyes bloodshot, watery and barely open, the report states.
Officers ordered him to place his vehicle in “park.”
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Lambright complied, but then quickly put it in “drive” again.
That’s when he “accelerated away from me at a high rate of speed in the crowded parking lot towards Russell Street,” an officer wrote in the incident report.
The officer wrote that Lambright willfully steered toward an ODPS officer, who was approaching another officer.
The ODPS officer “was able to step out of the way of the moving vehicle and narrowly avoided being seriously injured or killed,” the report states.
“Lambright then continued to accelerate recklessly, showing willful and wanton disregard for human life, towards Russell Street where public safety officers, Orangeburg County Sheriff’s deputies and civilian pedestrians were going to and from the business of Cloud 9, next to fully marked patrol vehicles with emergency lights activated,” the report states.
A fully marked ODPS Chevrolet Tahoe was nearby with its emergency lights activated.
Lambright “struck and rammed” it, the incident report alleges.
Police K-9 Badger was inside of the Tahoe when Lambright struck the vehicle. The dog was not injured.
“Several public safety officers, Orangeburg County Sheriff’s deputies and pedestrians had to leap out of the way to avoid being struck by the Toyota Corolla being driven by suspect Lambright,” the report states.
Officers eventually caught up with Lambright.
The vehicle came to a stop near the intersection of Lowman Street and Amelia Street. Police said Lambright and his passenger fled on foot and officers arrested them moments later.