The Fourth of July holiday was a busy day for Myrtle Beach police, who responded to a shooting on the beach, a reported con game, a kidnapping, a case of sex trafficking and a reported rape.
A 19-year-old woman flagged down police in the 300 block of North Ocean Boulevard at 10:40 p.m. and told officers she was conned by a man who had offered to double her money. As they were talking, another man approached, gave the suspect money and walked away with a return on his investment, according to an incident report.
“After observing that transaction the victim felt the deal was legit and took $200 out of the ATM,” the report stated. “Once the money was in the suspect’s hand, he told the victim the money was his now and she can’t have it back. The victim stated the suspect offered to give her some of the money back for sexual acts,” but the victim refused and the suspects left the area, according to the report.
The suspects were described as Hispanic males in their 20’s, one with a pony tail, wearing blue jeans, no shirt and black Jordan sneakers and the other wearing a white t-shirt, blue jeans and gold chain necklaces, according to the report.
Police reviewed footage from surveillance cameras in the area, but were unable to identify the con artists.
Myrtle Beach officers logged 102 calls for service on this Independence Day, compared to 82 on July 4, 2016; last year, the holiday was mostly plagued by thefts, according to online records filed by the Myrtle Beach Police Department.
This year, an Albemarle man was arrested and charged with shooting a gun in the city after a woman reported he fired at the ocean around 1 a.m. No injuries were noted in the shooting.
Five hours later, police were called to the Beachwalk Motel, where a man reported he was beaten, bound and gagged by suspects, who knocked on his door, and a woman in a neighboring room was robbed while she slept.
Around noon, a woman told police she was walking from her home to the beach on 76th Avenue North when an acquaintance, she only knew as Joe, invited her into his home. The woman said the man forced her to do drugs and led her into a bedroom where he raped her, according to an incident report.
The case remains under investigation.
Minutes later, police were called for a welfare check on a 29-year-old woman from North Carolina. The woman’s sister told police that she had received a video chat from the victim, who didn’t say anything during the chat, but later called back to say she was in Myrtle Beach with a 31-year-old man, according to an incident report.
The 29-year-old told police that she was riding with the man and another passenger, named “Angel,” when she started to “feel sick and sleepy” after drinking a bottle of water she got back from Angel.
“She fell asleep in the back of the vehicle,” but woke up “several times while traveling to Myrtle Beach,” the report stated. The woman told police that when she would try to get out of the vehicle, the man would “curse and yell at her to get back into the car.”
Although she told police the man never forced her into the vehicle, she said he only allowed her to exit with Angel by her side.
“The victim stated that she believed ‘Angel’ was there to watch her because she would stay close to the victim’s side and continue to ask her what she was doing and who she was calling,” police noted in the report.
The woman told officers that the man is known as a pimp back in Greensboro, North Carolina and that he stated several times that “he and Angel were going to Myrtle Beach to make money,” according to the report.
Officers say the woman did not want police involvement, but did want a safe place to stay for the night. She was transported to the women’s shelter, according to the report.