Bond set for man accused of barricading himself inside Myrtle Beach hotel room
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – A bond was set Friday afternoon for the man facing numerous charges after police said he barricaded himself inside a room at an Ocean Boulevard resort and set a fire.
According to information from the Myrtle Beach Police Department, officers were called to Yachtsman Resort for over four hours on Thursday after a bomb threat to the Olympic Pancake house led authorities to the Seaglass Tower.
While officers were investigating the bomb threat, the man, identified as 33-year-old Kenneth Beachum, of Mullins, pulled the fire alarm on the resort’s seventh floor, forcing guests out of their rooms, according to the MBPD.
Officers said Beachum went into a room on the seventh floor, barricaded himself inside and called dispatch. According to authorities, both dispatchers and negotiators spoke to him until he threw the phones off the balcony.
Detectives and negotiators were able to talk to him from an adjoining room, a press release stated. Those negotiations continued for several hours until around 4:45 p.m. officers could smell smoke after Beachum allegedly set furniture in the room on fire.
The room’s sprinkler systems put the fire out, but authorities said the situation forced them and firefighters to go into the room to prevent loss of life or property. At that point, officers were able to detain Beachum on the balcony and take him into custody, according to the MBPD.
MCpl. Tom Vest, department spokesperson, confirmed the suspect was tased in order to subdue him.
Beachum has been charged with arson, calling in a false bomb threat, false fire alarm, second-degree burglary, and throwing of bodily fluids by a prison.
Bryan Lefevre, a security guard at the Yachtsman Resort, says he was working as the situation unfolded.
He described the scene as “chaotic.”
“He threw his phones over [near] the pancake house,” Lefevre said. “You heard a loud smack on the ground. Everyone was like ‘Oh what was that?’ and you could see the phones on the ground.”
Lefevre says he and other guards made it a priority to ensure the hotel guests were safe throughout it all. He says the entire incident is something he just won’t ever forget.
“I have kids of my own and I’m lucky they weren’t down here for this situation as it was going on,” he said.
Judge J. Scott Long noted the defendant has 27 pages of prior criminal history that he reviewed prior to Friday’s bond hearing.
“It does give me concern for the safety of the public,” Long said.
The judge added he found Beachum to be a “threat to society” based on the prior criminal history.
Ultimately, he set a $385,000 combined surety bond for the five charges.
As of Friday night, Beachum is being held at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center.
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