Assault and Arson on Kennedy Drive
Deputies and an investigator with the Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office responded to Kennedy Drive in North Augusta (Edgefield County) Friday, May 22, after they received a report of a vehicle on fire. According to a report regarding the incident, when law enforcement arrived on the scene, they found one man holding another to the ground whom witnesses identified as being the person who set the vehicle on fire. The man was said to be under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Several eye witnesses’ accounts detailed how the man was seen driving recklessly in the Kennedy Drive area. He was actually followed by one witness because of his driving, and that witness followed him to the Greg’s Gas Plus on Hwy 25 where he observed the suspect spray gasoline inside of the vehicle. Witnesses at the gas station also confirmed seeing the suspect arrive at the station and pump gas into the cab of the truck he was driving. The witness who initially followed the suspect then followed him, as he continued to drive recklessly, back to Kennedy Drive. Witnesses stated that once the suspect returned to Kennedy Drive, his mother ran to him. Several witness attested that the suspect threw his mother to the ground, but one witness stated that the suspect actually tried to pull his mother into the truck before he threw her to the ground. The suspect then lit a piece of paper and threw it into the vehicle igniting the fuel in the truck. At this point, the suspect attempted to flee the scene, but a witness chased him and held him on the ground until law enforcement could arrive. Witnesses also stated that the suspect threatened to kill his mother and himself and also made a threat that he was going to kill himself in front of his mother.
The suspect was transported by the ECSO to Edgefield County Hospital before being taken to the Edgefield County Detention Center. He was charged with arson and Assault and Battery 3rd degree.
Aiken County Man Charged with Kidnapping
An Aiken County man has been charged with kidnapping after an incident on Saturday, May 23, at a residence on Amelia Drive. According to an Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office report on the incident, as law enforcement was on their way to the aforementioned address in response to a disturbance, a woman described as extremely upset, crying, and unable to stand was found on Amelia Drive. She told law enforcement that she had been threatened by a man inside of a residence on Amelia Drive who had kept her from leaving the home. The woman detailed that she was in the home cleaning when the man approached her and accused her of stealing his drugs and money. The woman says the suspect kept grabbing his pistol in her presence and each time she tried to leave he detained her. At some point during the incident, the woman was able to use her cell phone to call law enforcement. She stated that once she was able to call for help, she observed the suspect run from the location with the firearm and then again saw him in the residence “flushing the dope.”
When deputies arrived, the suspect was immediately detained. Deputies were able to locate the pistol, a Ruger .22 caliber semi-automatic, under some weeds in the backyard of the incident location. It was confiscated for evidence.
The suspect, John Henry Blocker, 51, of Aiken, was charged with kidnapping, presenting/pointing a firearm, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was transported to the Edgefield County Detention Center without incident.