MYRTLE BEACH — Police arrested an N.C. woman Thursday on charges she punched an officer in the mouth and spit on another officer after she ran into the ocean, refused to come out and was later hospitalized, according to police reports.
Heather Rae Welch, 37, of Stokesdale, N.C., was charged with assault and battery on a police officer and assault and battery, according to Myrtle Beach jail records.
Officers were called about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to 1702 N. Ocean Blvd., for a suicidal woman and learned from Welch’s boyfriend that she took numerous pills and said she was going to jump off the balcony, police said.
Officers found her running on the beach and then into the ocean, according to the report. Three officers jumped into the ocean and swam after her. Once they were about 50 to 75 yards off the beach, the officers caught up with Welch.
Another officer arrived with a personal watercraft and body board to put Welch on so she could be taken back to the beach, according to the report. When the officers tried to put Welch on the board, she punched one of them in the mouth, which cut his upper lip.
Eventually, the officers were able to get Welch back to the beach, but she yelled and screamed so they placed her under arrest and took her to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center for evaluation, according to the report.
An officer went to the hospital with Welch to guard her and while there she began to violently flail around in an attempt to get out of two sets of handcuffs on each arm secured to the bed, according to the report. The officer grabbed Welch’s wrists and called for a nurse and security to keep Welch from hurting herself while trying to get up.
The officer wrote in a report that Welch spat in his face nearly two hours after she was taken into custody, and he sought treatment for exposure to bodily fluids. Welch was later released from the hospital and taken to the Myrtle Beach jail where she was charged.
Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723.