Darlington County man behind bars after kidnapping ex-girlfriend - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Darlington County man behind bars after kidnapping ex-girlfriend with BB gun

On February 25, the DCSO responded to a reported kidnapping on Monte Clare Road in the Dovesville area; the suspect forced his ex-girlfriend to drive him from that road to a location north of Hartsville. (Source: DCSO) On February 25, the DCSO responded to a reported kidnapping on Monte Clare Road in the Dovesville area; the suspect forced his ex-girlfriend to drive him from that road to a location north of Hartsville. (Source: DCSO)
It was later determined that the handgun the suspect armed himself with was a BB gun. (Source: DCSO) It was later determined that the handgun the suspect armed himself with was a BB gun. (Source: DCSO)

DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – On Thursday, a man reportedly forced an ex-girlfriend at gunpoint to drive him north of Hartsville to East Old Camden Road and Ousleydale Road where he held another woman at gunpoint until Darlington County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived and he surrendered, according to DCSO officials.

It was later determined that the suspect’s handgun was a BB gun.

“Not just for law enforcement but anybody, if you were confronted with that weapon and certainly those two ladies, they believed it was a real gun,” said Sheriff Wayne Byrd with the Darlington County Sheriff's Office.

Just an hour earlier, police were notified of a reported kidnapping on Monte Clare Road in the Dovesville area. 

The suspect, later identified as 44-year-old William Edward Howell, allegedly forced his ex-girlfriend to drive him from that road to the location where deputies eventually ended up.

When they arrived to the scene, Howell was reportedly holding another woman at gunpoint.

It was reported to 911 that Howell would fire at officers when they arrived. 

“He had threatened that if she called law enforcement that he would shoot anybody that responded, law enforcement too and he would hold the lady and her children hostage until he could get away,” said Byrd

When officers got there, Howell, reportedly armed with a handgun, was confronted in the yard, surrendered and was taken into custody.

“You know certainly, if he had pointed that gun at the deputies or made any kind of threatening move to the deputies or to the female that lived at that house, the outcome would have been much different last night," said Byrd.

Howell was then taken to a nearby hospital after suffering a medical emergency. He was suspected of being under the influence, according to officials.

Howell will be charged with two counts of kidnapping, among other charges and will be in custody at the Darlington County Detention Center.

Officials say this is an ongoing investigation and more information will be released when it is available.

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