Williston police were called to the scene of a one-vehicle wreck on Burckhalter Street at about 4 p.m., March 12 where a 2004 Mercury Mountaineer had crashed through a fence, struck a tree and then partially ran underneath the porch of a house, according to police reports.
Arriving at the wreck site, police found nobody around or inside the vehicle. As police were surveying the scene, Jason Waller and his grandfather, Billy Waller, drove up to the scene.
The elder Waller told police that he had allowed a "Norman Goodman" or "Norman Goodwin" to test drive the Mountaineer because he was interested in buying it.
Waller allowed his grandson, Jason Waller, to ride with the man during the test drive. The younger Waller had minor injuries relating from the wreck, according to the police report.
Goodman or Goodwin was later identified as Norman Yates Carthens, 28, whose last known address was 3876 Dunbarton Road, Williston.
After the wreck, Carthens left the vehicle and began wandering downtown. Police began receiving reports from eyewitnesses and telephone calls about a badly bleeding man at the IGA grocery store, on Elko Street and at the Bi-Rite convenience store downtown.
"He left a trail of blood. It was like tracking a deer that was shot," said Williston Police Officer Joey Patsourakos.
Police caught up with Carthens at Matthews Street.
"The guy wandered around town with a bloody face," said Williston Police Chief Roger Kaney.
Carthens became hostile toward police and paramedics. Even after police arrested him, the man was combative and tried to smash out the window in the patrol car in which he was detained.
Police ended up using arm and leg restraints on Carthens, he said.
"We had to wrestle with him. We had to tie him up pretty good because he tried to break out a window," Kaney said.
Carthens was taken to Barnwell County Hospital to be treated there for a bad cut over his right eye and other cuts on his face. Carthens had to be medicated before being treated as he was still combative, according to police reports.
Carthens was charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving injuries; reckless driving; driving without a driver's license; disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.