South Carolina police chief suspended during investigation into his alleged drunk driving
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – WSPA-TV reports that Laurens Police Captain Scott Satterfield is now under suspension and is being investigated for allegedly driving drunk and calling a man the N-word while vacationing in Horry County. That’s according to statements from fellow Laurens Police Officers. WSPA has obtained the statements from an unnamed source, and the behavior alleged in the statements has now been confirmed as being investigated by the Laurens Police Chief, Sonny Letta.
The statements show that on June 23, that Satterfield, three other officers, and their families were staying in Ocean Lakes Campground. That night, the four officers decided to head out for dinner and then visit a number of bars in Myrtle Beach. When the men decided to play pool at one bar, Captain Satterfield got into an argument with an African-American man who was sitting on their pool table. The officers say Scott told the man “This is what happens when a Black man comes into a White man’s bar.” When the off-duty officers then ushered Satterfield out of the bar, Satterfield was reported to have uttered the “N-word” several times loudly.
The officers took Satterfield back to their rental in Ocean Lakes, and in their statements claim that Satterfield and another officer continued to drink alcohol at that location.
All of the officers’ statements agree that around 3 a.m. they awoke to hear Scott trying to leave the house. Some of the officers claim that they tried to stop him from driving, to which Satterfield told them he would fight them if they did so.
Satterfield got in his vehicle and drove off, according to the statements. The off-duty Laurens Officers then made two 911 calls to Horry County Police.
The officers’ statements also say that they immediately called Laurens Police Chief Sonny Ledda to report what happened.
WSPA first called Laurens Police Chief Sonny Ledda on Friday morning, July 8 to inquire about the allegations and the investigation. At that time Chief Letta stated that he had taken no disciplinary action against Satterfield, but there was an investigation into the statements.
All of those statements appear to be dated June 27.
Through a Freedom of Information Act request, WSPA received the recordings of the two 911 calls made by the off-duty officers to Horry County police.
In the first tape, the officer explains that their friend had just left Ocean Lakes Campground and would be heading back to Laurens, and that they believed he was a danger to others as he was too drunk to drive. The officer then calls back a second time, identifying himself as a police officer in Laurens to the 911 operator. The caller then identifies Satterfield as a police captain at the Laurens Police Department and also states that Satterfield may have a gun on him in the vehicle.
Chief Ledda now confirms to WSPA that Satterfield was placed on suspension with pay beginning on Friday, July 8, pending the outcome of the investigation.