Speeder threatens to leap from bridge

A police chase in North Augusta ended Monday when the suspected decided he’d rather give himself up to police than jump from the 5th Street Bridge.

An officer monitoring traffic on U.S. Highway 1 tried to pull over James Cooper, 21, of Nancy Lane, Aiken, for speeding, according to a North Augusta Public Safety incident report.

Cooper sped up instead, making a loop from East Martintown Road to Buena Vista Avenue and back to U.S. 1, before exiting onto 5th Street Bridge.

From the South Carolina side of the river, he got out of his car, a 2000 Honda Passport, and climbed over the side of the bridge. The officer grabbed his arm and pulled him to safety, according to the report.

Cooper was arrested, handcuffed and transported to North Augusta Public Safety headquarters. Cooper told police that he was arguing with his girlfriend on the phone before the arrest, and “to punish his girlfriend,” he started driving faster in order to get arrested. According to the incident report, he threw marijuana out of the car during the chase.

Cooper is charged with driving under the influence, driving under suspension and failure to stop for blue lights and siren.

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