Secrist given Medal of Valor for actions during chase
ROBERT J. BAKER / TIMESManning Police Cpl. W.B. Secrist II, center-right, stands with his wife, Katrina, to his right, and his mother, Elaine Secrist, to his left, along with Manning Police Chief Blair Shaffer, far left, Manning Mayor Julia Nelson, left, his aunt, Kathy Murdock, and his father-in-law, Charlie Brunson.
It’s been a little more than a month since two Manning police officers and a Clarendon County sheriff’s deputy were involved in a chase that led to the totaling of their police cruisers and injuries for all three.
Two are still out on medical leave, but Cpl. W.B. Secrist II came back to work not long after the March 13 chase, which began at Lamar’s Country Corner and ended off Kingstree Highway just a few miles away.
Manning Police Chief Blair Shaffer honored Secrist Monday night during Manning City Council’s regular meeting, presenting the 27-year-old West Virginia native with a Medal of Valor.
“It was an extraordinary case and extraordinary work,” Shaffer said. “I’m proud of his work and his reaction in that incident. Not only was he able to track down the suspects, he was able to arrest one of them with the injuries that he had.”
Sheriff Randy Garrett told The Manning Times that the incident started about 9 p.m. March 13 at Lamar’s, and that deputies were called to a fight-in-progress. Sgt. Barney Dozier asked the Manning Police Department to assist.
Secrist and Private 1st Class Shelton Case responded.
“When they got there, they saw that a vehicle was leaving, so they made pursuit,” Garrett said in March. He said the stopped the vehicle, but the suspects fled after police spotted a gun. Shaffer said speeds during the chase were in excess of 100 mph, and that the suspects traveled the S.C. 261 overpass and then went onto Kingstree Highway.
“They slowed like they were going to make a left onto Meagan Lane,” Shaffer said. “Secrist radioed to say he was slowing to make that turn.”
Dozier ran into the back of Case, breaking his foot during the wreck. Case had no visible signs of injury, but has still been “very sore,” Shaffer said.
Secrist was treated at Clarendon Memorial for two days for pancreatitis, dizziness, confusion and nausea, though scans showed no signs of a concussion.
“After the wreck, all the law enforcement officers got out and assisted in apprehending the suspects,” Shaffer said. “At that point, you’re running on adrenaline, but still it’s pretty amazing that they were able to do what they did.”
Secrist was joined Monday night by his wife, Katrina; his mother, Elaine Secrist; his father-in-law, Charlie Brunson; and his aunt, Kathy Murdock.