October 30, 2014

York mayor says 139 MPH police chase violated several town policies

Image: YorkCitySC.com

Chief Andy Robinson

The mayor of York is calling on the city’s manager to place Police Chief Andy Robinson on administrative leave, after a review found the chief and other officers chased a suspected car thief at speeds over 130 miles per hour.

The Rock Hill Herald first reported the results Thursday of a town review into the police department’s actions during the April 4 incident. Mayor Eddie Lee told Rock Hill station WRHI that the review found Robinson violated several police department policies during the chase and left the town “vulnerable,”  including one officer driving in the opposite lane at over 100 mph during the chase.

“Who was taking care of the people here in the city of York while this was going on outside our jurisdiction?” he asked. “If there had been a bank robbery, (or) an incident in one of our schools, our police officers were on this 139 mile-an-hour pursuit. So, there’s serious questions.”

Following the review, Interim York City Manager Charlie Helms said Robinson failed to take command and should have ended the pursuit when officers reached dangerous speeds and put other drivers at risk. The review’s findings — and an allegation that Robinson purposely stepped on the handcuffed suspect after the chase —  have been turned over to the State Law Enforcement Division.

Lee said he believes the review shows Robinson’s decision to continue the chase put the public at unnecessary risk. “The (York Police Department) pursuit policy is an excellent policy,” he said. “And it was just, just violated. And the senior police officer on the scene was the chief himself.”

Robinson has not responded to the report.