Sumter authorities arrest man with gun

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 6, 2005

BELLAMY-The Sumter County Sheriff’s office was able to contain what could have been a dangerous situation Saturday morning when Prince Curtis Rowe, 40, of Bellamy, was arrested allegedly roaming a neighborhood with a loaded handgun.

The department responded to several 911 calls from residents of Poplar Drive in Bellamy on Saturday morning reporting an individual pounding on neighborhood doors while holding a handgun.

According to Sheriff Johnny Hatter, the responding officer found Rowe running through a resident’s yard with a loaded pistol yelling that someone was trying to kill him. Rowe had allegedly awakened at least three households in the area between 5:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. by knocking on doors and attempting to enter houses to get away from the assailants. Rowe was heavily intoxicated and was unable to tell the officer who or what he thought was after him, according to police officials.

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Hatter said this was not the first time they have received this type of call in the Poplar Drive area. He said in previous situations they had found drugs to be a key factor.

“We have had several previous incidents where a similar situation occurred in the same area involving a different suspect,” Hatter said. “We were able to determine in those cases that the suspect was suffering from a drug-induced paranoia, and the suspect was arrested and convicted. I believe this case is a similar situation.”

Hatter said whenever drugs are involved they take no chances. He said regardless of a suspects intentions they must approach a situation such as this with extreme caution.

“We are not going to take it lightly if someone uses illegal drugs and then thinks they can run wild in the streets,” Hatter added. “No matter if they intend to hurt anyone or not, if someone disturbs the peace at innocent people’s homes, that person will have to answer for it.”

Rowe was taken into custody after a brief struggle with the officer and the handgun was confiscated.

Rowe was placed in the Sumter County Jail on charges of Burglary, First Degree, Menacing, Harassment and two counts of Criminal Trespass, Third Degree. Rowe is currently being held on $32,000 bond.