Chase wasn't first brush with the law

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Chase wasn't first brush with the law

BY ASHLEY FLETCHER<br>THE ISLAND PACKET
Published Saturday, November 16, 2002 in The Island Packet  |  793 Words  |  /IslandPacket/news/local

BLUFFTON -- A Hilton Head Island man who was shot in the hand by a Highway Patrol trooper during a chase near Bluffton on Thursday morning was charged Friday with stealing the car he allegedly drove and wrecked -- adding to a criminal record that dates back to 1995.'
Tyrone Robinson, 27, who allegedly stole the 2001 Taurus used in the chase from a home on Crosswinds Drive on Hilton Head, also was charged Friday with reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident.'
The additional charges were connected to the Thursday morning chase. During the time in which he was being pursued by S.C. Highway Patrol Trooper First Class J.F. Clipse, Robinson allegedly drove recklessly, leading to a collision with a third car on Buck Island Road near Old Carolina Traditions golf course, said Debbie Szpanka, spokeswoman for the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.'
At the accident scene, Clipse fired several shots into the vehicle Robinson was driving, wounding Robinson in the left hand. After the gunshots, Robinson reportedly drove away.'
First Sgt. Robert Priester of the Highway Patrol alleged Thursday that Robinson had fired first at the patrolman, prompting Clipse to return fire.'
Priester was not at the scene of the accident when the shooting occurred.'
The State Law Enforcement Division is conducting an ongoing investigation on the chase and shooting, spokeswoman Kathryn Richardson said Friday. Details of the incident will not be available until the investigation is complete, she said.'
It was not the first time Robinson had been in trouble with law enforcement authorities.'
Robinson recently finished serving a six-year prison sentence -- a term in which he was in and out of jail because of three parole violations, according to Lisa Alston, agent in charge for Beaufort County Department of Probation and Parole. The original sentence was issued on June 26, 1996, when Robinson was convicted of third-degree burglary, petit larceny, hit and run and three counts of grand larceny.'
The prison term ended Aug. 7 of this year, said Cheryl Bates-Lee, spokeswoman for the S.C. Department of Corrections.'
According to a SLED Criminal Records Check, Robinson's first conviction came after he was arrested for disorderly conduct in January 1995. He was fined $152 when the case went to court in April of that year.'
Later that same year, Robinson was arrested and charged with assault and battery and malicious injury to property, according to the SLED report. He was convicted and fined a total of $2,115 in penalties and restitution, the report said.'
His first prison time came in April 1996 after he discharged a weapon in a building. He served 29 days in prison, according to the report.'
Shortly after he was released from prison, he returned to court to face charges of third-degree burglary, petit larceny, hit and run and three counts of grand larceny. He was convicted in June 1996 and given a sentence of up to six years.'
Robinson was sentenced as a youthful nonviolent offender for a term of one to six years, Alston said. Youthful offenders can be released from prison after a year and remain on probation for another year. If offenders maintain good behavior during that time, they can go free, she said.'
But Robinson violated parole three times, she said, which sent him back to prison each time and stretched his term out over six years.'
Offenders violate parole if they commit another crime, Alston said, or if they fail to comply with the terms of parole -- which could include not reporting to a parole officer or failing a drug test.'
Peter O'Boyle, spokesman for the corrections department, said based on Robinson's record, it appears he violated terms of parole twice, and the third violation came when he committed another crime.'
After shots were fired at the collision scene Thursday morning, the chase continued to U.S. 278 near Hargray, where Robinson's vehicle ran off the road.'
Robinson was arrested after the chase, treated for injuries and taken to Beaufort County Detention Center, where he initially was charged with fleeing to evade and was served with three bench warrants, detention center officials said. '
Robinson previously was wanted by the Sheriff's Office for two counts of fleeing to evade arrest, two counts of leaving the scene of an accident and two counts of failure to stop for blue lights, resisting arrest and fleeing to evade detection, Szpanka said. He also was wanted for probation violations and three General Session bench warrants, she said.'
No bond had been set for Robinson as of Friday night.