Florence man involved in deputy chase claims he was wrongfully accused

Man speaks out after crashing into deputy's car while on bike

FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - The Florence man at the center of the viral video being chased by Florence County sheriff’s deputies claims he was wrongfully accused of armed robbery.

Chester Cross Jr., 38, was arrested for breach of peace after authorities said he refused to stop for questioning after the Palmetto Subs armed robbery on West Evans Street.

Cross said he wasn't involved in any robbery and was on his way home that Sunday night.

"I said I'm not a suspect,” Cross said. “I didn't do anything I was coming from Walmart."

The video was taken on the night of October 6. It shows the moment Cross crashed into a deputy’s patrol car during the chase.

“I turned by Zaxby’s, made a left by Zaxby’s, and that’s when the cop came in front of me and knocked me off my bike,” he said.

In the incident report by the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, the deputy stated Cross matched the description of a person wanted for robbing the restaurant.

It stated the deputy turned on his lights to stop Cross as he was riding his bike down Hoffmeyer Road, but he didn’t stop.

The reason, Cross said, is because at first he wasn't aware they were trying to pull him over.

"I didn't know they were behind me at all until I seen the lights when I turned by Zaxby's. By that time they already knocked me off my bike," Cross said.

"I think it was absurd. It scared me to death," Cross’ wife, Michelle, said.

Cross said he suffered a concussion, injured finger and knees.

The sheriff’s office said Cross was initially believed to be a suspect, that’s why they tried to stop and question him.

They said he's no longer being investigated for the armed robbery, but Cross said the damage is already done.

“I think they should have at least said sorry to me,” he said. “That would show that they had sympathy for me.”

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