Pair charged with child neglect after reported burglary

Shaunn Coles (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
Shaunn Coles (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
Lacey Goldsmith (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
Lacey Goldsmith (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) A man and his girlfriend are facing several charges including burglary and child neglect after allegedly taking four children with them to settle a dispute Saturday afternoon.

According to a police report obtained by WMBF News, Horry County Police were dispatched to the 500 block of Plantation Drive in the Surfside Beach area in reference to a burglary in progress around 4 p.m. While en route, officers learned two suspects were assaulting the victims inside their home and a knife was involved.

Upon arrival, officers could hear screaming and made their way inside, the report said. A male victim was said to have been running from the fight while the female victim was still actively fighting with the two suspects, Shaunn Elliott Coles, 33, of Hemmingway and Lacey Brooke Goldsmith, 26, of Murrells Inlet.

The report stated officers told them to stop fighting and then proceeded to physically try to get the pair on the ground. According to an officer, Coles attempted to push an officer away during the altercation.

Once Coles and Goldsmith were restrained, they were placed into two separate patrol vehicles. At that time, officers discovered four children ranging in age from two to 10 in the backseat of Coles and Goldsmith's vehicle. The keys were still in the ignition and the motor was running unattended, the report said.

Officers spoke with the victims, who claimed they were acquaintances with Coles and Goldsmith. They told police one of the victims was working on a vehicle belonging to Coles and another altercation had occurred the day before concerning the work.

The victim said Coles began pounding on their front door Saturday afternoon and they refused to answer. At that time, Coles proceeded to pound on all the windows of the home and then moved to the rear sliding glass door, which he reportedly ripped off the track, the report stated.

Coles then allegedly began assaulting one of the victims and the other victim grabbed a knife from the kitchen for protection. The report said Coles called for Goldsmith, who entered the home and threatened the victim for pulling a weapon.

An agent with the Department of Social Services was notified of the incident, however, a relative of Goldsmith's was able to take custody of the four children.

According to the report, both Coles and Goldsmith waived their rights and talked with an officer about the altercation. Coles allegedly admitted to opening the sliding door and knocking on the windows, stating he was trying to wake the victims up. Coles then told police he never assaulted anyone, he was just trying to break up the fight between Goldsmith and one of the victims.

Goldsmith told police she went into the house when Coles called for her and saw the victim with the knife. That was when they began to fight, she said.

One of the victims told police his cell phone had been taken from his hand during the fight and it was missing. His cell phone was later found in Coles' pocket at the Surfside Beach jail and Coles told police he didn't know how the cell phone got in his pocket, the report said.

Coles has been charged with two counts of assault and battery in the third degree, burglary in the second degree, petit larceny and four counts of unlawful neglect of a child. He remains incarcerated on a $46,000 bond.

Goldsmith has been charged with burglary in the second degree, assault and battery in the third degree and four counts of unlawful neglect of a child. She was released from jail on a $31,000 bond Sunday evening.

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.