Atlantic Beach mayor released on bond after arrest for assault

Retha Pierce (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
Retha Pierce (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)

ATLANTIC BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Atlantic Beach Mayor Retha Pierce was released on bond Tuesday after turning herself in to authorities when a warrant was issued for her arrest Monday. Mayor Pierce replied with no comment when questioned by a WMBF news reporter. 

On Tuesday morning, Pierce's bond was set at $2,000, and she was released, under the condition that she has no contact with the victims.

The Horry County Sheriff's Office says an Atlantic Beach Police officer signed the arrest warrant Monday, which was transferred to Horry County for service.

Officials with the HCSO say the warrant comes after Atlantic Beach councilwoman Carolyn Cole filed an assault complaint against Pierce.

According to Cole, Pierce body-checked her causing an area that had previously undergone medical surgery incredible pain. Cole says she went to the doctor and had to receive medical treatment because the area was irritated from Pierce's advance.

Additionally, Cole also says that immediately after Pierce slammed into her, she threw a bottle of water at her, which soaked her sleeve.

Retha Pierce turned herself in at J. Reuben Long Detention Center Monday afternoon.

During Tuesday's bond hearing, Pierce asked how she could do her job while adhering to the court order that she's not to have any contact with the victims, since the victim will be at the council meetings. The judge said she's allowed to go to meetings as part of her job, but didn't elaborate otherwise.

Atlantic Beach town council is set to meet Thursday May 17th for a budget workshop.

Cole says she'll have no problem sitting on council with Mayor Pierce in the future. "I'm going right back in there and sit down, I always have this is not how they chase me away and I think the people who voted for me, voted for me because of that courage."

Councilwoman Windy Price is questioning whether or not council members will be able to get on the same page to be productive with one another.  "Until we get a panel across the board who have the same mind frame there is no coming together," states Price.

Councilman Jake Evans who has been elected for three terms with Atlantic Beach was present at the meeting where the alleged altercation occurred between Pierce and Cole, and he believes the claims are false.

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