FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) – Deputies in Florence have arrested the former chief of the Columbia Police Department on warrants issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.
Randy Scott was located by members of the Florence County Sheriffs Office after arriving at a motel in Timmonsville in response to a stolen 2019 Dodge Challenger out of Wilkesboro, N.C.
Ex-Columbia police chief Randy Scott arrested again. This time on federal charges
After finding out who was associated with the car and what room they were in, deputies found Scott and a North Carolina woman.
The woman, identified as Aimee Cook, was taken into custody on felony warrants out of Lexington, Wilkesboro, and Alexander County (N.C.).
Scotts charges have not been released by officials at this time. Scott and Cook are both being held at the Florence County Detention Center pending extradition.
Scott was arrested after U.S. Marshals served a warrant at his home address in search of a fugitive in another case. These Marshals were accompanied by agents of the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and Richland County sheriffs department – part of an inter-agency fugitive task force.
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Scott left the police department in April 2013 and then quickly joined the Richland County Sheriffs Department a month later in May 2013, only to leave in August 2016, resigning because of medical issues. He worked for RCSD from 1994 to 2010 and again in 2013 for three more years until he resigned in 2016.
Scotts departure from both law enforcement agencies has been marred by scandal. After becoming the police chief after interim status in January 2011, Scott cited his struggles with PTSD following the death of a colleague in 2005. Before he resigned as CPDs top cop, he took a leave of absence, citing personal reasons.
A 2016 collision in Elgin that Scott was involved in included a 911 recording from a caller who claimed Scott threw a beer bottle into the woods following the collision. The collision happened in July 2016 – when he was still working for the sheriffs department – in an unmarked vehicle. Scott resigned three days later.
An accident report at the time stated Scott was not at fault for the collision and alcohol was not a factor.
According to jail records, he is being held on a “detainer” – which refers to suspects who are arrested and held in connection with charges filed against them in another jurisdiction.
Former Columbia police chief Randy Scott has been arrested for the third time in less than a year, but this time he faces federal firearms charges, according to authorities.
An indictment handed down by a federal grand jury says that Scott, 50, being an unlawful user of a controlled substance … knowingly did possess in and affecting commerce, firearms and ammunition, and goes on to list nearly a dozen firearms including pistols, shot guns and a rifle.
Sources close to Scott tell us his mental state has deteriorated further in recent months, with the PTSD “really taking a toll on him,” according to one of his confidantes.
The document, dated May 7, was not available early Monday. However, federal court records indicated an order was issued Monday on a motion to unseal the case, and the document was available later that day.
Scott was arrested Saturday in Florence County after deputies responded to a report of a vehicle stolen out of North Carolina that was seen at a motel near Timmonsville, according to a release from the Florence County Sheriffs Office. Deputies contacted the occupants of a room associated with the stolen vehicle, one of whom was Scott.
Deputies arrested Scott on warrants from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives headquarters in Washington, D.C., according to the release. Details about the warrants or charges have not been made available.
This is an ongoing investigation, so ATF will not be making comments pertaining to our investigation on Mr. Scott, agent Gerod King, spokesman for the ATFs Charlotte office, said in a voicemail message.
A message for the ATFs public affairs office in Washington was not immediately returned. Messages left with the U.S. Attorneys Office and the attorneys who represented Scott after his arrests last year also were not returned Monday.
Saturdays arrest was the latest in a series of legal troubles for the man who was once the top cop in Columbia. He was one of three people arrested last July after a search for a fugitive led Richland County investigators and federal officers to his home.
A month later, he was arrested on charges that he didnt return his service guns to the city of Columbia and the Richland County Sheriffs Department.
Scott was the interim chief of the Columbia Police Department before taking the position permanently in 2011. He resigned from the post in 2013, citing post-traumatic stress disorder that he said he developed after the line-of-duty death of a deputy he hired while at the sheriffs department. But in a story last month, The State reported that Scott resigned amid accusations of sexual misconduct and other unprofessional behavior.
A woman who was in the motel room with Scott, Aimee Cook, was arrested on felony warrants out of Lexington County and two agencies in North Carolina, according to the Florence County Sheriffs Office. Maj. Mike Nunn said Florence County investigators do not have charges for Scott.
A complaint filed last month in Richland County names Scott as a defendant in a July 2016 crash that happened on U.S. 601. The plaintiff claims in the suit that Scott disregarded a traffic signal when turning onto the highway from Screaming Eagle Road in the Lugoff area, hitting the womans car with great force.
The complaint alleges that Scott was under the influence of alcohol and/or other intoxicants at the time, and says he was reckless by not keeping a proper lookout, disregarding the traffic signal and failing to apply his brakes to avoid a collision. There is no mention of injuries in the complaint, but the woman asks for judgment to compensate for damage to her car.
Richland County court records do not indicate any criminal charges against Scott for that alleged collision.
Teddy Kulmala covers breaking news for The State and covered crime and courts for seven years in Columbia, Rock Hill, Aiken and Lumberton, N.C. He graduated from Clemson University and grew up in Barnwell County.