by Paul Bowers
When the seminal Southern jam band Widespread Panic announced a two-night engagement for Oct. 4 and 5 at Family Circle Stadium on Daniel Island, the Charleston Police Department got ready. Several officers were patrolling the island "in reference to the Widespread Panic concert" this weekend according to police reports, and there was apparently plenty to keep them busy: Officers made seven arrests and intercepted a counterfeit $100 bill before Friday night was over.
Here is a chronological account of what went down on Friday night, when the gates opened at 5 p.m. and the show started at 6:
5:39 p.m.: An officer patrolling in the area of the concert venue noticed that a man who was standing in a parking lot at 901 Park Island Dr. hid behind a wall as the officer drove by, so he stopped the man, checked for warrants, and found that he was wanted in Horry County on a grand larceny charge. The man was arrested and taken to the county jail to be handed off to Horry County police.
6:13 p.m.: A police officer spotted a man peeing in the bushes beside the Family Circle Stadium and placed him under arrest on a charge of public urination.
6:35 p.m.: Police caught another man micturating near the stadium and arrested him on a charge of public urination.
7:15 p.m.: An officer saw two people standing in the road at 885 Island Park Dr. holding red Solo cups containing alcohol. Both of them were arrested on open-container charges.
8:00 p.m.: A cop standing inside the venue spotted a man smoking a blunt. While searching the man, the officer found a gram of marijuana and a little white rock of meth in his pocket and arrested him on possession charges.
10:19 p.m.: An officer on location at the stadium observed a man "banging on one of the vendors' tables in a loud and boisterous manner." After making contact, the officer noticed that the man was "grossly intoxicated" and having trouble keeping his balance, so he arrested the man on a public intoxication charge.
10:30 p.m.: A Family Circle Cup employee flagged down an officer and said a man had tried to pay for something with a fake $100 bill. The employee said she did not give the man any merchandise in exchange for the fake bill. When the officer caught up with the man who had tried to spend the funny money, the man told the officer that "he thinks the bill came from a friend who owed him money," although he wouldn't give the friend's name, according to an incident report. The officer confiscated the bill but did not make an arrest.
Saturday night, the second night of Widespread Panic's Daniel Island tour stop, was relatively calm from a law enforcement perspective — until the end of the night. At 3:45 a.m. Sunday morning, an officer was sitting in his vehicle in a parking lot at 126 Seven Farms Dr. when a naked woman walked up and asked for help. The officer gave her a blanket and asked what had happened. She said the last thing she remembered was walking out of the concert with a group of people around 11 p.m., and then she woke up in Governor's Park with no clothes on around 3:30 a.m. The woman had some scratches on her left shin but reported no other injuries, and she said she had not been assaulted or sexually assaulted. She refused treatment from EMS and said she wanted to go home. She told the officer that she had been drinking during the concert, but not excessively. She said she had taken a shuttle from the Isle of Palms with a group of friends, but that "she did not know what happened to them after the concert," according to the report.
The woman said she had been wearing a sundress and flat shoes and carrying a purse with her wallet and cell phone inside. Police searched the park but could not find any of her belongings.