1 caught, 1 still at large in Aiken County manhunt



The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office has one suspect in custody and is searching for the second near Beech Island after a manhunt that led to a police bloodhound being cut with a knife and a deputy in the hospital.

It started about 9 a.m. Tuesday, when the sheriff’s office received a call from Richmond County saying that a stolen big rig was in Aiken County.

Aiken County deputies arrested Patrick Spires, 30, of Aiken, about 12:30 p.m. and charged him with assault on a police K-9, assault on an officer, possession of a stolen vehicle and resisting arrest.

Capt. Troy Elwell with the Aiken County Sheriff's Office said that when officers found the stolen rig, two suspects ran off.

Deputies went after them with the help of a bloodhound and ended up getting separated from the dog because of the terrain.

When officers caught up with the dog’s tracker, it had been cut off and the K-9 was missing. Deputies used a second bloodhound that was able to track the first one. The first appeared to have been stabbed in the neck with a knife.

The second K-9 caught up with Spires in a barn on Beech Island Avenue. When deputies tried to apprehend him, he resisted. During the struggle, the floor gave out, resulting in one officer going to the hospital with a wrist wound.

The K-9 that was cut received three staples from a veterinarian.

Deputies still had a perimeter up Tuesday evening to catch the second suspect, David Bargstedt, of Aiken, who they think is still in the area.

“If you injure a police dog, it’s the same as injuring a police officer,” Elwell said.

Aiken County was assisted by North Augusta Public Safety, Aiken Public Safety, Jackson Police Department, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.