Suspect in Socastee manhunt identified, charged

Officers searching for the suspect Tuesday morning (Source: WMBF News Photographer Michael Walter)
Officers searching for the suspect Tuesday morning (Source: WMBF News Photographer Michael Walter)
Officers continue to search for the suspect (Source: WMBF News Photographer Michael Walter)
Officers continue to search for the suspect (Source: WMBF News Photographer Michael Walter)
Johnathan Myers (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
Johnathan Myers (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF)- Horry County Police have now arrested a man officers say was driving a stolen vehicle and then fled from police Tuesday morning.

Sgt. Robert Kegler, spokesman for the Horry County Police Department, said officers were in the area of Keith Street and Gwen Drive in the Socastee area Tuesday morning, just off Highway 707 searching for the suspect.

K-9 units with the Horry County Police Department were on scene searching for the suspect around 11:30 a.m. Just before 2 p.m., officers called the search.

According to Kegler, K-9 units tracked the suspect to Folly Road, where the track then went cold.

Then around 4:30 p.m., Kegler said the suspect, Johnathan Myers, 36, of Myrtle Beach was located and arrested on Creon Street, just one street over from the search area earlier Tuesday morning.

Myers was described as a white male standing about 5'9" and weighing 150 pounds. He was wearing a red shirt, blue jeans and a camouflage coat. He was said to be clean shaven with dark hair.

Kegler said Myers has been charged with grand larceny, $2,000 to $10,000, failure to stop for blue lights, resisting arrest and driving under suspension, third and subsequent offense.

He remains incarcerated at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

Homeowners said the neighborhood has been buzzing about what they saw. Les Rendelman said, "We saw police cars, highway patrol cars and later in the evening around. We returned home and she told us she saw this gentleman, actually a fugItive walking up the street. She called Horry County Police and they picked him up."

Others say they found out about the manhunt in a variety of ways. Shannon Wallace said, "I was on Facebook checking statuses and saw the WMBF Facebook page. That is when I realized someone who stole a vehicle and police were running around chasing him with K9 units."

Wallace said she has Facebook to thank for notifying her that a manhunt was underway right in her community. Wallace added, "Kids walk the dog since they are home-schooled so when that happened, we locked the doors and made sure kids didn't go out there."

Wallace said if she had not been online, her safety as well as her three kids could have been in jeopardy. Wallace stated, "If I had not been on Facebook I could not have known anything which is even more frustrating because I saw neighbor kids get home from school playing outside."

Some neighbors said they would like to have had some type of notification by police. Rendelman said, "Our neighborhood would have been a safer place and people could have been forewarned to watch out for person and be on the lookout for him."

A spokesperson with Horry County Police said sometimes residents can be alerted using the county's Geo-Alert system. Emergency Management officials who send out alerts say there are time restrictions which range from 20-45 minutes. Those time restraints are taken into consideration when sending an alert to the public.

Some say they think they should be notified if anyone is on the loose. Rendelman said, "Personally I believe anyone in flight from police should be considered dangerous."

Some homeowners say this incident is making them put safety as a top priority. Rendelman added, "Before I open the door I'll try to determine better than in the past. Makes me more cautious as to who is standing there."

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