UPDATE: Arrests During Riots Overnight In Washington; Drug Suspect Now Critical

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 their drug unit was doing an undercover drug deal for cocaine when they saw another drug transaction go down.

Investigators approached Keith Small on Van Norden Street and say they saw him shove plastic bags in his mouth. After a struggle, deputies eventually removed a large bag containing smaller bags full of suspected cocaine.

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

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.


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