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Columbia man faces criminal charges after fleeing police

Police in Irmo, South Carolina, allege that an officer recently pulled over a car on Lake Murray Boulevard only to have that driver speed off once the officer got out of his cruiser. The officer then hopped back into his vehicle and chased the car for several miles, onto several highways. The driver reportedly stopped his car on Highway 277 and took off on foot into nearby woods

Although police thoroughly searched the area, they could not find the suspect. If apprehended, the man will be presumed innocent until proven guilty and will likely be entitled to a criminal defense.

Police now claim to have identified the driver, a male who resides in Columbia. However, law enforcement have not released a description of the driver or said why they are seeking this particular person. It may be that the police managed to somehow make a positive identification. On the other hand, it could be that officers are merely looking for the owner of the automobile. The owner of the vehicle, though, may or may not have been driving at the time of the incident.

Authorities will not be able to obtain a criminal conviction of the car's owner for any crime if they cannot prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the owner was actually driving the car at the time of the alleged chase. Merely owning a car does not necessarily make the owner liable for crimes committed in the car, especially if the crime took place without the owner's knowledge when the car was not within his or her possession or control.

It is unclear why the officer pulled this particular vehicle over in the first place.

Source: WLTX.com, "Man accused of leading cops on chase identified," Tony Santaella, Feb. 5, 2013

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