At the dawn of May 28, with the first light of the day streaking the South Carolina sky, Officer Wallace of the North Myrtle Beach Police Department was conducting her usual patrols along the U.S. Highway 17. Little did she know, her regular duty would turn into an extraordinary act of vigilance and bravery that saved a life and served justice.
During her patrol around 5:30 am, Officer Wallace’s attention was drawn to a white jeep that ran a red light at an intersection. She conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. It was then that her well-honed instincts, sharpened by her years on the force, alerted her to the distress signals sent by the female driver of the vehicle.
Engaging the occupants of the car, a female driver and a male passenger, Officer Wallace picked up on the subtle signs of alarm. With an unnoticed courage, the distressed woman quietly mouthed the words “Help Me” while the male passenger had his attention elsewhere.
Perceptive to the silent plea, Officer Wallace acted promptly. She separated the suspect from the victim by asking him to sit in her patrol car, further investigating the situation. The female driver frantically advised that the passenger had just shot someone.
In an almost cinematic turn of events, a ‘Bolo’ (Be On The Look Out) alert resonated through the police radio, concerning a vehicle involved in a recent shooting. The coinciding circumstances led to the arrest of the male passenger and the subsequent discovery of an unlawfully carried pistol hidden underneath the suspect’s seat.
Named Collin Bates, aged 29, the suspect was later identified as a resident of Columbia, South Carolina. Court records now list him with multiple charges, including attempted murder and kidnapping, underscoring the gravity of his crimes.
Officer Wallace’s dedication to her duty, keeping a watchful eye on her city even in the twilight of her shift, resulted in the rescue of a helpless woman and the arrest of a dangerous criminal. The North Myrtle Beach Police Department lauded her bravery in a Facebook post, writing, “Our department and our community is lucky to have Officer Wallace. Great Job!”
Officer Wallace’s story serves as a powerful reminder that, while we sleep peacefully, there are vigilant protectors keeping us safe, standing as strong guardians of our communities. Let us always remember their bravery and unyielding commitment to keeping us safe.