Man says he was shot 3 times by volunteer constable for fleeing traffic stop
Florence Police Department(CHARLESTON, S.C.) — A state constable is under investigation after shooting a man who was fleeing a traffic stop in South Carolina, according to officials.
Florence Officer Edward Sieban pulled over Brandon Fludd for speeding late Saturday night, according to Lt. Mike Brandt of the Florence Police Department. Sieban was accompanied by Group III State Constable Christopher Bachochin, Brandt said. A second police officer pulled over in another car as well.
Video of the incident shows Sieban ask for Fludd’s information and state he smells marijuana. The video then shows Fludd refuse to exit the vehicle and back into a police car. Shots are heard as Fludd drives away. Brandt could not confirm the number of shots fired.
When asked why he drove away, Fludd told ABC News, “Because I got nervous, I shouldn’t have taken off, I should have listened, but I got nervous and scared.”
Fludd said after he drove away from the scene he met his wife. He then got in his wife’s car and went to the hospital. Fludd said he was shot three times: in his chest, his arm and his knee.
Officers found Fludd’s vehicle shortly after shots were fired. Fludd was later located at the McLeod Regional Medical Center, Brandt said.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) is investigating the incident.
According to SLED, “Group III state constables are appointed by the governor and serve local law enforcement agencies without pay. SLED’s role is to establish training requirements, set standards for conduct, prescribe limits on the use of authority, determine suitability and fitness of applicants, and enforce governing policies.”
According to ABC affiliate WPDE, Bachochin is an “advanced-level constable” and has been with the program since 2012.
Fludd’s lawyer, South Carolina State Rep. Justin Bamberg, released a statement on the incident.
“We are deeply concerned that a pharmacist who volunteers as a constable has the ability to not only carry a weapon while observing actual police work, but to discharge it eight times into a moving vehicle,” he said. “Police officers are required to go through a lengthy and rigorous training process in order to carry out their duties.
“Volunteer constables, like the pharmacist involved in this incident, do not have the appropriate training and should not be allowed to participate at the same level as a member of law enforcement. We will continue our own investigation into this incident and will ensure that Mr. Fludd’s rights are protected,” Bamberg added.
Speaking to ABC News, Bamberg said, “No one was at risk of being injured or killed by what my client did. This is what happens when you put firearms in the hands of a pharmacist and let him play police.”
The Florence officers involved in the incident are not on leave, according to Brandt. Bachochin has been instructed not to work, according to SLED, which is policy if the constable is under investigation.
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