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Major John Allard, PIO Office, 785-2415, 24-Hour Press Box: 799-2001, Ext. 1100

SRO Arrests 17-Year-Old Boy for Possessing Marijuana, Prescription Drugs and Tear Gas at Chapin High School


A Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputy who works full-time as a school resource officer at Chapin High School on Thursday, January 16 arrested a 17-year-old boy who lives near Irmo on charges that the boy unlawfully possessed marijuana, 45 pills of Klonopin, which is a drug that physicians can prescribe to prevent and control seizures, and one canister of tear gas on the grounds of Chapin High.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said School Resource Officer Dana Catoe arrested Coleman Douglas Newman, 17, of 2224 South Woodrow Street, on arrest warrants on charges of unlawfully possessing a controlled substance with the intent to distribute it near a school, possessing marijuana and carrying a weapon on school grounds. Newman was being held on Friday, January 17 at the Lexington County Detention Center while awaiting a bond hearing.

At about noon on Thursday, Catoe saw Newman pay for a drink in the Chapin High cafeteria, quickly leave the cafeteria and exit the building through a side door after Newman made eye contact with Catoe, Metts said. Newman is not enrolled as a student at Chapin High. Newman signed in on Thursday morning as a visitor at Chapin High.

Newman lit a Newport cigarette in the Chapin High parking lot after exiting the school building, Metts said. Catoe approached Newman because Newman is too young to legally smoke a cigarette in South Carolina. It also is a violation of school policy to ingest tobacco products on the grounds of Chapin High. Catoe placed Newman in investigative detention.

Catoe and another deputy searched Coleman’s person and backpack after Catoe and the other deputy detected a strong odor of marijuana, Metts said. Deputies and two administrators at Chapin High found that Coleman possessed more than one-half ounce of marijuana, 45 pills of Klonopin worth about $4,000, one scale, one pack of Newport cigarettes, papers that are used to make marijuana cigarettes, $350 in cash and one canister of Sabre tear gas.

Catoe is continuing to investigate why Coleman went to Chapin High on Thursday and why Coleman brought the drugs and other items to the campus of Chapin High, Metts said.

“We are very thankful for our partnership with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department and the great work of all of our school resource officers,” said Mark Bounds, chief information officer for School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties. “This is an example of how our school staff is ever vigilant and how school resource officers’ presence keeps our schools safe.”



 


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