Richland deputy remains hospitalized after fleeing suspect rams her car, sheriff says

A deputy was hospitalized following a police chase in northwest Columbia near St. Andrews on Sunday, according to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.

The sheriff’s department was dispatched to the 700 block of Zimalcrest Drive for a domestic violence incident involving a weapon. When deputies arrived, a man fled in a car and a short chase ensued, the sheriff’s department said.

Raqwan L. Williams began driving “erratically” before side-swiping a car and intentionally going “head-on” with a sheriff’s deputy, according to the sheriff’s department. Williams, 26, then fled on foot and was apprehended by deputies and a K-9 unit.

Deputies say Williams was carrying two weapons when he was arrested.

Both Deputy Michelle Burnside and Williams were taken to the hospital for their injuries.

Williams was released and taken to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

Burnside remains in the hospital.

The sheriff’s department charged Williams with 10 crimes: attempted murder, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, second degree assault and battery, armed robbery, failure to stop for blue lights to cause bodily harm, grand larceny over $10,000, pointing and presenting a firearm, reckless driving, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and unlawful carry.

Williams was out on bond for murder and other charges, the sheriff’s department said. In Aug. 2021, he was arrested and charged for a fatal shooting at a Waffle House on Two Notch Road.

“My deputy would not be in the hospital if he would have been in jail where he belonged,” Sheriff Leon Lott said in a news release. “Murder and all his other charges show a total disregard for the law and how dangerous he is to put in the community. I pray our criminal justice system works this time.”