Aiken Co. Sheriff unharmed after scuffle with suspect

"I think the actions speak for themselves. He was tracked down, apprehended, and he'll go to jail. I'm going home!"

Satisfying words from Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hunt, after a scuffle with a suspect, now identified as Nathan Lively, led to a manhunt that rocked Clearwater and Burnettown all afternoon. Hunt and other deputies were patrolling the area after a recent rash of burglaries when he spotted someone matching the description of the suspect.

"I made contact with the suspect, and started to pat him down to make sure he didn't have any weapons at which time he tried to flee, and a struggle ensued," said Hunt.

The suspect was able to escape for the time being, as frightened employees at Signature Hair Designers salon watched the whole thing unfold.

"The guy's arms just flailing around trying to get away from him," Jennifer Boyd said of what she saw. "And the Sheriff's foot slipped, then they both went down. And he had both his hands on him, trying to hold onto him. And the guy just wiggled out from under him and took off. 

Deputies and bloodhounds combed the area on foot and by air for hours, before finally emerging from the woods with the suspect in custody. Investigators say Lively will now face assault and third degree battery charges for striking Sheriff Hunt during the incident. 

"The bottom line is, it's not proper to put your hands on any police officer, anywhere in the country," said Hunt. "That's just the way it is."

Investigators said their goal now is to link Lively to any other crimes he may have committed.

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