Gun-carrying customers at SC dealership held attacker at gunpoint until cops arrived


YORK COUNTY, SC

A pair of customers legally carrying guns held a pipe-wielding attackerat bay at a York County car dealership until police arrived in a December incident where the suspect threatened to kill dealership employees, prosecutors said in court Friday.

Alonzo Seegars, upset with service at Stateline car dealership on Gold Hill Road in Fort Mill on Dec. 21, arrived armed with a pipe wrench, said Aaron Hayes, 16th Circuit assistant solicitor. Seegars told a service employee, “I know who you are and you are a dead man,” then “threatened to kill” a female employee, Hayes said.

Seegars then shouted out “Watch this!” as he smashed at least three vehicles with the pipe wrench, Hayes said.

Two customers, whom prosecutors said had legal concealed carry permits and were armed legally at the time, intervened and “held Mr. Seegars at bay” with the handguns at the crowded dealership until police arrived, Hayes said. York County deputies tackled Seegars after using an electric stun gun. Seegars suffered a broken leg in the scuffle.

eegars, 29, was in court Friday because he wanted bond after the Jan. 2 arrest. Seegars said he is a “nightclub promoter” from Charlotte but is originally from Lancaster. Seegars spent most of the hearing in a chair because of his broken leg.

Seegars’ lawyer, Creighton Hayes of Rock Hill, said Seegars was “in a state of extreme mental distress” during the incident Dec. 21. Hayes conceded in court the vehicles were damaged, but said the attempted murder is an “over charge” because no one was harmed or hurt.

Yet an employee, whose name was not used in court because of his fear of Seegars, said in court Friday that Seegars had previously threatened people at the dealership, and on Dec. 21, backed him into a corner with the pipe wrench before a profanity-laced tirade of death threats and smashed cars.

“He scared a lot of people,” the employee said in court.

Visiting Judge Benjamin Culbertson said Seegars has a right to bond before trial and set the bond at $25,000 on the five felony charges Seegars faces. Culbertson put restrictions on the bond that Seegars have no contact with the dealership or victims.

Seegars was not taken to jail Dec. 21, but hospitalized for physical and mental health reasons after police took him into custody that day, testimony showed Friday. However, even though York County deputies told hospital officials in Charlotte that police had arrest warrants against Seegars and wanted to charge him before release, Seegars was discharged from a Mecklenburg County medical facility Dec. 30, testimony showed.

Seegars was served the warrants for the December incident Jan. 2, but only after after he allegedly went to his former place of employment in Fort Mill. Police were called because of a disturbance and found Seegars was wanted, incident reports show.

By Andrew Dys

adys@heraldonline.com