Officer Wallace from the North Myrtle Beach Police Department has been commended for her actions that resulted in the rescue of a woman in distress during a routine traffic stop. The incident unfolded on the early morning of May 28, while Wallace was patrolling U.S. Highway 17.
South Carolina officer rescues kidnapped getaway driver who mouthed 'help me' during traffic stop https://t.co/AlCjhHqdaB
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During her patrol, Officer Wallace noticed a white Jeep blatantly running a red light at an intersection on the highway. Concerned about the safety of those inside the vehicle, she promptly pulled the Jeep over for a traffic stop. It was during her interaction with the occupants that Officer Wallace noticed something amiss.
The female driver, who was in the car with a male passenger, appeared visibly distressed, and at some point when the passenger looked away, she silently mouthed the words, “Help me.”
The woman issued the cry for help multiple times and fortunately, Wallace was quick to understand the urgency of the situation. Without hesitation, she removed the male suspect from the car and placed him in the back seat of her patrol vehicle, ensuring the safety of the woman.
Returning to the Jeep, the officer engaged in conversation with the woman, who frantically disclosed that the man had just committed a shooting. She added that the passenger was holding a gun on her and forcing her to drive, hence, the stressed feeling that caused her to run the red light.
Almost immediately, a BOLO (Be On the Lookout) alert came in through the radio alerting officers of a vehicle involved in a shooting outside a local restaurant in the area. The description of the suspect matched the passenger, who was a Black man.
Upon a search of the car, officers found an unlawfully carried pistol under Bates’ seat, which matched the caliber of the casing found at the crime scene. Hence, the passenger identified as 29-year-old Collins Bates, was placed under arrest in connection with the shooting.
Bates now faces serious charges, including kidnapping and attempted murder, and is currently held without bond in the J. Reuben Long Detention Center.
The North Myrtle Beach Police Department commended Officer Wallace for her proactive patrolling and dedication to duty. “Our department and our community is lucky to have Officer Wallace,” the department wrote.
The officer’s actions are even more commendable considering it was during the final minutes of her shift.