Incident at James R. Metts Law Enforcement Complex
LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC - At about 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday, July 23, a 31-year-old man, who does not have a permanent address, telephoned the front desk at the Lexington County James R. Metts Law Enforcement Complex, 521 Gibson Road, Lexington. The man told a supervisor at the front desk that he wanted to speak with his wife whom he mistakenly believed was at the Law Enforcement Complex.
Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said Ronnie Michael Starling, 31, used profanities, made threats to harm himself with a firearm, made threats to harm his wife and made threats to cause harm at the county Law Enforcement Complex. Starling told the front desk supervisor that he was armed with a firearm.
Starling engaged in a series of telephone calls with deputies, Metts said. Deputies who are trained negotiators spoke with Starling during the series of telephone calls and eventually persuaded Starling to tell them where he was located. Deputies went to Starling’s location in the 2000 block of Glenn Road near West Columbia and took Starling into custody without incident at about 6 p.m. on Tuesday. At the time that he was taken into custody, Starling was not armed with a firearm.
Starling was transported to Lexington Medical Center, where Starling was undergoing a mental health evaluation on Tuesday evening, Metts said. Starling faces one count of unlawfully using a telephone and might face additional charges.
Deputies are continuing to search for Starling’s wife in order to ensure her safety, Metts said. A booking photograph of Starling is not available.
Metts asked anyone with information about additional criminal activity involving Starling to contact the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department at (803) 785-8230 or CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. Citizens also can provide information anonymously by accessing the Crime Tip link on the Sheriff’s Department web site (www.lexingtonsheriff.com).
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