Suspect charged in Waties Island fire was out on bond, has history of mental illness

Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 10:10 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2022 at 4:34 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Authorities have a suspect in custody, accused of starting the fire on Waties Island on July 17.

According to a police report, Lucas Standridge, 36, admitted to starting the fire and was arrested on July 18.

The North Myrtle Beach Fire Department Assistant Chief, B. Floyd and Chief Spain said they found Standridge when they arrived on the island and he told them he set the fire, explaining that he “had to reignite the sun,” so he set the fire on the island.

During his interview with police, Standridge said he traveled to the area from Anderson County because he “had to bring his own sun and moon.” He also told North Myrtle Beach Police officers he set the fire on Waties Island.

According to the report, an officer from Coastal Carolina University was called in as the island is owned by the University and it is its jurisdiction.

WMBF News has requested the reports from CCU.

Standridge is charged with entry on another’s land without permission; burning lands of another without consent, and willfully burning lands of another.

He is still being held at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

According to detention center records, Standridge was released from the detention center, on bond, on July 14. The Waties Island fire was three days later.

Records show Standridge was arrested on July 4 by the South Carolina Highway Patrol and charged with disobeying a police officer, disregarding a traffic signal and being a pedestrian on a controlled access highway.

Standridge was reported missing in Anderson County in June, according to our sister station in the area. The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office said Standridge suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disease.

Stay with WMBF News for updates.

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