Authorities captured a suspect Thursday morning who was wanted for injuring four Hampton County deputies during a chase Wednesday night near Brunson.
Officials said Jay John Ruth was captured in Colleton County around 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning.
The sheriff's office wanted Ruth on several warrants, including kidnapping and grand larceny charges from an incident earlier in the week.
According to SLED, the incident started around 7:30 p.m. when deputies spotted Ruth driving a dark-colored pickup truck in the city of Hampton. Ruth fled in the truck after deputies tried to stop him. The deputies followed Ruth to Altman Road where he drove his car off the road through a yard, around a house and then back through the yard, hitting a deputy’s car head-on.
Ruth was driving his third stolen car.
Sheriff T.C. Smalls held a press conference at 11 a.m. to address the incident.
"I'm very grateful that we were able to end this in a short period of time," he said. "Dealing with what we dealt with last night and the trauma of last night and this morning, I'm glad we were able to end it and have a peaceful conclusion. Another thing I would like to say is - the deputies that were involved - we would like to respect their privacy."
Ruth pushed a deputy's car aside with his vehicle and drove back up Altman Road where he abandoned the vehicle. He then went inside a nearby home and stole the keys to a car in the garage and drove off. As Ruth was attempting to leave, a second deputy got out and tried to stop Ruth, but Ruth hit that deputy with the vehicle.
Ruth injured two other deputies in the chase.
A Varnville officer on scene witnessed the deputy get hit and fired shots at Ruth’s car to try to get him to stop, but was unsuccessful.
"We will be developing that information that we will out into a case file report. We will present to the local prosecutors and then a decision will be made as to exactly what charges will be brought in this particular case," said Thom Berry, SLED Spokesman.
Sheriff Smalls praises the massive response from surrounding agencies in the immediate aftermath.
"It just shows that you can get a lot done when agencies come together and participate," he said.
First responders airlifted the deputy that was struck in the car to Trident Hospital in Charleston. They transported the second deputy that was struck on foot to a hospital in Hampton. Both left the hospitals after treatment.
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