January 28, 2015

Bond denied for man accused of crashing into Clinton retirement home

Bond has been denied for a man accused of deliberately crashing his car into an assisted living facility in Clinton on Wednesday, sending eight people to the hospital and forcing the evacuation of all 40 residents.

A judge on Thursday denied bond for 84-year-old Alton Payton on an attempted murder charge, according to the Clinton Chronicle. The judge set a $10,000 bond on a charge of malicious injury to property. Clinton Public Safety Director Robin Morse had told the court he believed Payton was a danger to himself and the community.

Two family members are asking the judge to consider a psychological evaluation, saying that Payton is suffering from early signs of dementia.

Investigators said the 84-year-old rammed his car through the doors at Bailey Manor Presbyterian retirement home Wednesday and ended up in the lobby. While no one was injured in the crash itself, Morse said a portable gas can in the car caught fire and several people suffered smoke inhalation. All 40 residents had to be evacuated. Authorities estimated the crash did $500,000 worth of damage to the home.

According to the Chronicle, Bailey Manor Administrator Rita Stanley said it will take several weeks to repair the building. She said most of the residents are staying with family, while others are at Presbyterian Community South Carolina or National HealthCare Clinton.

Tom Hayes contributed to this report