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NEW INFO: Washington Drug Suspect To Face Charges, Remains Critical

Officials say Keith Small of Washington will face new drug charges, while he remains at Vidant Medical Center in critical condition.

Beaufort County deputies say the drug unit was doing an undercover drug deal Wednesday night when they saw a drug transaction go down between the 33-year-old Small and an unknown man.

Investigators say they approached Small on Van Norden Street. They believe that's when Small shoved plastic bags filled with drugs in his mouth.

Investigators say Small resisted arrest, fought with deputies, and Small was having trouble breathing. Investigators say they removed a bag of marijuana and cocaine from Small's throat and attempted a Heimlich Maneuver and chest compressions.

EMT's were called and they removed another bag of drugs from Small's throat.



Previous Story

Hospital officials say a man who was arrested last night in Washington during a dramatic drug deal bust is now in critical condition.

Beaufort County deputies say the drug unit was doing an undercover drug deal when they saw a drug transaction go down between 33-year-old Keith Small and an unknown man.

Investigators say they approached Small on Van Norden Street. They believe that's when Small shoved plastic bags filled with drugs in his mouth.

Investigators say Small resisted arrest, fought with deputies, and Small was having trouble breathing. Investigators say they removed a bag of marijuana and cocaine from Small's throat and attempted a Heimlich Maneuver and chest compressions.

EMT's were called and they removed another bag of drugs from Small's throat.

The 33-year-old Small is now in critical condition at Vidant Medical Center.

Christopher Moore told us this is what he saw. "They throwed him down face down on the ground, extreme force was being used, nobody was resisting."

Beaufort County Sheriff Alan Jordan says officers didn't do anything unusual while arresting Small and that he will not apologize for making drug arrests. Jordan says, "Anybody who thinks arresting drug dealers is pretty, that we can just walk up and ask them kindly to step out and they're always compliant and nice and don't try to flee or fight is delusional."

Overnight
Three people are facing charges for being part of a riot in Washington overnight. Police say about 20 to 30 people took to the streets, shouting, setting trash cans on fire, uprooting stop signs, and throwing bottles at buildings. The first disturbance call came in at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday, according to police. The riot ended following the arrest of three people, around 1:30 a.m. Thursday.

The following Washington residents are facing charges: 23-year-old Rodney Albritton, Jr., charged with public disturbance; 31-year-old Derrick Chavis, charged with impeding traffic, standing in the line of the street, and carrying a concealed weapon; 28-year-old
Taeisha Koroma, charged with disorderly conduct.

Police say they have warrants for the arrest of a few more people believed to be part of the riot to serve today.

The rioters were walking through the streets in the area of Fifth St. to Thirteenth St., and on Ninth St., from Market to Gladden.

Officials say the Washington police patrol lieutenant came to the scene overnight, and they called in one more additional police officer. Beaufort County sheriff's deputies also responded, but it's not clear how many.

No injuries were reported overnight, and police say there were no "use of force" reports this morning.

There were six reports of trash cans set on fire along with seven or eight stop signs being uprooted. The group was also said to be throwing objects into yards and at residences. As of 8:30 a.m., police received one report of actual property damage from a business owner.

Wednesday Evening
Police believe the riot overnight was a reaction to a dramatic drug deal bust on Van Norden St. around 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Beaufort County deputies say the drug unit was doing an undercover drug deal to buy cocaine when they saw a drug transaction go down between 33-year-old Keith Small and an unknown man. Investigators say they approached Small in a GMC Yukon on Van Norden Street and saw him shove plastic bags in his mouth. They say Small resisted arrest, fought with deputies, and Small was having trouble breathing. Investigators say they removed a bag of what looked like marijuana from Small's throat and attempted a Heimlich Maneuver and chest compressions.

Deputies say when emergency medical crews arrived they removed a large plastic bag from Small's throat full of several smaller plastic bags full of suspected cocaine.

The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office said Thursday that Small was transported to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.

Small's Record
Keith Small is expected to face new charges for the alleged drug transaction Wednesday, but he is already facing several other drug-related charges. Small's record dates a dozen years, according to the Department of Correction. He has been in prison for convictions in 2000, 2003 and 2004.

Small also has pending drug charges in Beaufort County Superior Court dating back to 2008, with other charges filed for two other arrests in 2010 and two more in 2012. Small was out on bond when he was confronted by law enforcement Wednesday evening. He has twice been charged with resisting arrest.


Previous Story

Riots broke out in Washington overnight, with people outraged about a dramatic drug bust. The man who lawmen said tried to swallow drugs as deputies came up to him during an alleged drug deal is listed in stable condition at the hospital. The drug bust sparked so much trouble in Washington that police called in extra personnel and made arrests early Thursday morning.

It was just after 7 p.m. Wednesday that about 100 people spilled into the streets of Washington, after a dramatic drug deal bust. Beaufort County deputies said 33-year-old Keith Small shoved baggies of drugs - believed to be marijuana and cocaine - down his throat when deputies approached him.

Witnesses told WITN about Small choking on the baggies and not breathing. Some people are criticizing law enforcement, saying they were too violent with Small.

The anger boiled over again overnight. Washington police said groups of people started causing trouble around midnight. They set fires in trashcans, threw bottles at buildings, and even tore up stop signs. Most of the rioting happened between 5th and 13th Streets, and on 9th Street between Market and Gladden.

Washington Police Sgt. Sheppard said they arrested a handful of people, and they have warrants for a few more arrests. The trouble stopped once people started getting arrested with the help of extra Washington police officers and Beaufort County Sheriff's deputies.

They believe these riots were the result of the drug bust that ended with Keith Small in the hospital.

PREVIOUS STORY:
The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office Says 33-year-old Keith Small was sent to the hospital Wednesday night after he tried to swallow several plastic bags of suspected drugs.

Deputies say the drug unit was doing an undercover drug deal to buy cocaine just before 7:00 p.m. in Washington when they saw a drug transaction go down between Small and an unknown man. Investigators say they approached Small in a GMC Yukon on Van Norden Street and saw him shove plastic bags in his mouth. They say Small resisted arrest, fought with deputies, and Small was having trouble breathing. Investigators say they removed a bag of what looked like marijuana from Small's throat and attempted a Heimlich Maneuver and chest compressions.

Deputies say when emergency medical crews arrived they removed an large plastic bag from Small's throat full of several smaller plastic bags full of suspected cocaine.

Vidant Beaufort Hospital says Small is in stable condition.

PREVIOUS STORY:
Beaufort County Sheriff's Deputies' crime scene tape cordoned off a section of Van Norden Street near 5th Street in Washington about 7:00 p.m. Wednesday night. Inside the crime scene tape was a SUV with all it's doors and the trunk open. Nearly a hundred neighbors were in the street around 7:30 p.m.to check out the scene.

Neighbors say there was an altercation between deputies and two men in a vehicle, and at least one of the suspects was transported to the hospital.

The Sheriff's Office has not released any information about the crime scene nor the names of anyone involved. A spokesman for the sheriff's office says he will send a press release out about the incident.


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