A South Carolina Woman Mouthed ‘Help Me’ to a Police Officer During a Traffic Stop, Her Passenger Had Just Shot Someone

Wire Service
By Wire Service
June 13, 2023US News
A South Carolina Woman Mouthed ‘Help Me’ to a Police Officer During a Traffic Stop, Her Passenger Had Just Shot Someone
Police officer Kayla Wallace. (Tampa Police Department)

A South Carolina police officer is being praised for her attention to detail during a traffic stop that led to a shooting suspect’s arrest, according to authorities in North Myrtle Beach.

The police department recognized Officer Kayla Wallace’s quick response in a “Way-to-Go Wednesday” Facebook post this week.

Wallace pulled over a white Jeep that ran a red light along US Highway 17 shortly before sunrise on May 28, according to the North Myrtle Beach Police Department.

While speaking with the female driver and male passenger, Wallace reportedly noticed the woman appeared distressed, according to authorities.

“While the male passenger wasn’t looking at the driver, the female silently mouthed ‘help me’ repeatedly” to Wallace, North Myrtle Beach Police spokesperson Pat Wilkinson said in a statement to CNN.

Taking note of the driver’s discreet plea for assistance, Wallace removed the passenger from the Jeep and placed him in her patrol car’s back seat.

The officer returned to speak with the woman who was driving. The woman “frantically” told Wallace that the man sitting in her police vehicle had just shot a person, according to authorities.

Soon afterward, dispatchers sent a radio alert for officers to be on the lookout for a vehicle recently involved in a shooting in Horry County.

The arrested passenger was identified as Collins Bates, who is accused of shooting someone outside a sports bar in Myrtle Beach on May 28, according to CNN affiliate WMBF.

CNN could not determine if Bates has legal representation.

Bates, 29, forced a woman to drive him away from the bar after the shooting, WMBF reported.

“Due to Officer Wallace proactively patrolling the streets of North Myrtle Beach, even to the last 30 minutes of her shift, a suspect in a shooting was arrested and an unlawfully carried pistol was recovered underneath the suspect’s seat,” the police department’s Facebook post read.

The department congratulated the officer, who was sworn into service in 2021, for a “great job.”

“Our department and our community is lucky to have Officer Wallace,” the post read.

Horry County booking records showed Bates was being held without bond on charges of attempted murder, kidnapping, and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

Bates, who remained behind bars by Friday, is also charged with unlawful carrying of a pistol and possession of firearms and ammunition, according to booking information.

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