By Stan Welch
During a hearing Tuesday, Simpsonville magistrate Richard Moore set bond for Richard Edward Inman, the former Williamston Police Chief accused of robbing a bank in Simpsonville Saturday, at $100,000. He must also get ankle monitoring if he is released.
Inman is a former chief of the Williamston Police Department and resigned in 2011 after a controversy arose over postings on social media. He also underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor prior to his resignation.
Former Williamston Mayor Carthel Crout said that Inman was a good police chief and a good man. “He was good at his job and was getting some things done for the town. He reinvigorated the Neighborhood Watch program in town, and he held a Kid’s Fun Day where the kids could come and see the department’s equipment and meet officers in a friendly atmosphere. He was also making some real progress against the drug dealers in town. Then he got sick, and he was never the same man. I think it was the surgery he had and all the medication they put him on.”
Inman was chief for less than a year under Crout’s administration. Crout called his alleged robbery of the Simpsonville Bank of America branch “totally uncharacteristic and beyond imagination.”
“I just couldn’t believe it. Why else would a man with over decade of service in that police department walk into a bank undisguised and rob it, unless he was calling out for help?”
Crout added that Inman’s father had died two years ago. “I believe that just made his problems worse. I just hope he gets the help he needs and deserves.”
Williamston’s current mayor Mack Durham was on council when Inman served as police chief in Williamston. Durham expressed his feeling that Inman’s actions constituted a cry for help. “Mr. Inman’s behavior became erratic and continued to worsen following his surgery to treat a brain aneurysm. His use of racial slurs and his equally offensive comments on social media were totally unlike him prior to the surgery. It appears his problems are ongoing, and it is my sincere hope that he will receive the treatment and help he needs.”
“ Mr. Inman was a trained law enforcement officer, and his alleged robbery of this bank could hardly have been more inept. It is almost impossible to see it as anything but an attempt to get help. It saddens me to see any former law enforcement officer under investigation for such a crime,” said Durham, whose term as Mayor began two years after Inman was forced to resign.
Inman was arrested Sunday in Georgia, after he allegedly robbed a Bank of America location on Fairview Road in Simpsonville.
He was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Franklin County Detention Center. At a hearing on Monday, Inman voluntarily assigned extradition and was returned to Simpsonville for the hearing Tuesday.
He is facing charges of armed robbery. The details of the robbery were not discussed during the bond hearing. Officials said Inman has been cooperating with investigators, but offered no details.
According to information provided by Cheryl Manley, an investigator for the Simpsonville Police Department, Inman entered the Bank of America branch at approximately 10 a.m. Saturday morning. He presented a note saying he was armed and demanded money. The teller gave him an undisclosed amount and he left without further incident.
On Saturday night police identified the robbery suspect as Inman.
According to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, deputies along with Georgia State Patrol received a BOLO regarding Inman’s vehicle on Sunday morning. Around 12:30 p.m., deputies said they were able to locate the suspect vehicle and initiated a felony traffic stop on I-85 south near mile marker 164.
Deputies said Inman produced a Georgia driver’s license with a Calhoun address. He was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Franklin County Detention Center where he awaits extradition.
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office said search warrants were being served in connection with property Inman had in his possession at the time of the traffic stop.