Pacific Police arrested a Beaufort man Sunday, June 24, on suspicion of stealing a vehicle from a Washington gas station last week.

Brian K. Epperson, 33, was charged in Franklin County Associate Circuit Court with felony stealing of a motor vehicle.

According to Washington Police, Wednesday, June 20, a  2011 Silver Impala was stolen by Epperson from the Fas-Trip at Highway 100 and Washington Heights. Police said an employee had left their keys inside the vehicle while working. At around 4 p.m., the employee realized her vehicle was missing.

Epperson could be seen on security footage at the gas station riding on a Harley-Davidson-style bicycle, circling the vehicle for some time. He eventually left the bicycle behind and stole the car at approximately 12:50 p.m.

The Washington police department posted a photo from the security footage to its Facebook page. Detective Sgt. Sitzes said the suspect was identified through that post.

Washington Police then requested Pacific Police check known addresses of Epperson, where the stolen vehicle was found.

He was located nearby at a friend’s home where he was arrested by Pacific Police. He later confessed to stealing the vehicle.

Previous Charges

Two felony first-degree assault charges are pending against Epperson, who allegedly struck two teens on the head with a crowbar Dec. 3, 2017.

The felony complaint alleges that Epperson struck a 16-year-old female and a teen male with a crowbar near Union.

Deputies responded to the 1200 block of Evergreen Lane, St. Clair, that day where the female victim reported the assault. A family member transported the girl to the hospital where she was given three staples in her head as a result of the assault, according to the probable cause statement filed by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department.  

The same day a deputy responded to the Union Police station where the 18-year-old male victim told authorities he was struck with a crowbar on his head by Epperson. The male victim received six staples in the front of his head in the hairline above his left eye, according to the sheriff’s office.

Three witnesses identified Epperson as the man who struck the teens.

Epperson was arrested Thursday, Dec. 14, in Pacific on a warrant for failure to appear in court on charges of leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident and driving without insurance. During an interview with police, Epperson said he fought with the minors and pushed them down. He denied striking them with a crowbar, according to the probable cause statement.

Epperson initially had been charged with two counts of second-degree assault and armed criminal action, but the charges were amended Monday to two counts of first-degree assault.

In May 2016, Epperson was given probation for allegedly trying to steal a man’s wallet.

According to Union police, during the 2016 incident officers were dispatched to the area of Highway 50 and Clearview Drive May 4 about 3:20 a.m. for a report of a stolen vehicle.

The victim described Epperson as an old friend, and he and another man needed a ride and offered marijuana in exchange.

Epperson allegedly tried to take the victim’s wallet. Epperson and the other man left the area in the vehicle. The man who was with Epperson turned himself into police about two hours later.

Police located Epperson four days later and chased him on foot from the Union Walmart parking lot to near Highway 50 where he was arrested.

Additional reporting by Gregg Jones.