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Bikefest assault suspect formally charged by grand jury

A North Charleston man was indicted on a charge he assaulted a S.C. Highway Patrol trooper during the Atlantic Beach Bikefest, according to a grand jury indictments.

Brandon Lamar Simmons, 22, of North Charleston, was indicted on a charge of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature in connection with the May 29 incident that stems from an incident during the Atlantic Beach Bikefest in which a trooper fired shots at a car on U.S. 17 near Barefoot Landing after a traffic stop where the driver tried to drive off while the trooper was holding onto the car.

One of the two troopers at the intersection went to the driver's side of the car and knocked on the window. When the man inside, Simmons, opened the window, the trooper smelled marijuana smoke, according to an initial report. The trooper told the driver to roll the window down all the way and then put his arm inside the car to put it in park. While the trooper was reaching into the car, Simmons started to drive away.

The trooper was able to stay on his feet and he freed his arm before shooting at the Jeep three times as it sped away. The other trooper at the intersection jumped to get out of the way of the Jeep as Simmons drove off.

State Law Enforcement Division officers searched for the car with vehicles and a helicopter, backing up traffic for more than an hour. The vehicle was found in a parking lot in the restaurant row area a few hours after the incident but there were no signs of the three people in the car. The car had been cleaned out and was abandoned.