Officer saves woman who mouthed ‘help me’ during traffic stop

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — An officer helped save a kidnapping victim during a traffic stop at the end of May in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, police say.

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North Myrtle Beach Police said in a Facebook post that on May 28 around 5:30 a.m., Officer Kayla Wallace was in the area of U.S. Highway 17 in North Myrtle Beach patrolling when she saw a white Jeep run a red light.

She conducted a traffic stop, and when she approached the Jeep, she saw a woman in the driver’s seat and a man in the passenger’s seat.

Wallace said she noticed that the woman seemed to be in some kind of distress, according to WMBF.

While the male passenger wasn’t looking at the driver, the female silently mouthed ‘Help Me’ repeatedly,” police said.

Wallace then removed the passenger from the Jeep and put him in the back of her patrol car, according to WMBF.

Wallace went back to the Jeep and spoke with the driver. She told the officer that the man had shot someone. Moments later, a “Be On The Lookout Alert” for Jeep went off on the police radio. Police say the Jeep was involved in a shooting.

The shooting happened in Horry County, South Carolina, just before the car was spotted by Wallace running the red light, according to WMBF. When officers arrived at the scene of the shooting, they found a victim who was shot in the stomach. The victim was taken to the hospital. Their condition has not been released.

A witness told police the shooting happened at a restaurant called The Waterway House and identified the suspect as Collin Bates, the news outlet reported. Bates reportedly forced a second victim to drive them away from the scene, resulting in the traffic stop.

“Due to Officer Wallace proactively patrolling the streets of North Myrtle Beach, even to the last 30 minutes of her shift, a suspect in a shooting was arrested and an unlawfully carried pistol was recovered underneath the suspect’s seat,” police said. “Our department and our community is lucky to have Officer Wallace.”

Bates was arrested and is facing multiple charges including attempted murder and kidnapping, WMBF reported. He is being held with no bond.