West Pelzer police breakup home invasion


Involving possible Atlanta gang member

By Stan Welch

West Pelzer Police Captain Chris Brewer recently interrupted a home invasion type situation in which several people were being held at gunpoint by a man believed to be associated with an Atlanta gang .

On the night of November 2, Captain Brewer responded to a residence where he met with a female wearing just shorts and a T shirt. The woman, whose identity has not been released, told Capt. Brewer that there was a man whom she did not know inside her house with a gun, holding two other victims at gunpoint. The female victim escaped through a window in another room and called 911.

Police Chief Mike Clardy said that Brewer approached the house, he heard voices. He attempted to quietly open the front door but it was locked. The Chief said that Brewer then went around to the back door, where it was later learned that one of the male victims had used the ruse of throwing a cigarette outside to leave the door unlocked and slightly ajar. Brewer entered the home and reached a vantage point where he could see a dark skinned male and two white males. The dark skinned male had a gun in his hand, and there was also a rifle on the floor.

Brewer made entrance to the kitchen with his weapon drawn and commanded the three to to put their hands on their heads. The two white males immediately complied, and the dark skinned man, later identified as Ricardo Ruga, Jr., complied after two more commands.

By this time, additional officers from the Williamston Police Department had arrived for support, and all three men were handcuffed. It was subsequently determined through interviews and investigation that Ruga had followed one of the other men home and accosted him at gunpoint and held the two men.

The investigation continues and there are a number of questions that have not been answered. Ruga stated that he was on his way to Saluda to visit his child. How he ended up in West Pelzer, following someone driving a truck he claimed to recognize is one of several questions. Someone familiar with the case said there is evidence of Ruga’s association with the Atlanta gang scene, and indicated that federal authorities were interested in talking with Ruga.

Ruga was arrested on three counts of kidnapping, burglary, pointing and presenting a firearm and possession of a firearm during a violent crime. He is currently being held at Anderson County Detention Center, without bond.

Chief Clardy said he intends to recommend both Brewer and the female victim for a Crimestopper reward. “Captain Brewer performed admirably, and resolved a very dangerous situation without anyone coming to harm.”