Many people spend time with friends and family on Thanksgiving day. One Berkeley County Sheriff’s deputy spent his time helping to save a suspect’s life.
At just before 1:00AM on Thanksgiving day, Cpl. Cody Graff was in St. Stephen. “We were just running some traffic patrol in the area… at that time I observed a vehicle exceeding the speed limit and I turned around to do a routine traffic stop and it turned into a high-speed chase.”
The vehicle, driven by Darrell Anthony Croker, raced down Highway 52 for several miles. At the bridge over the Santee River, the car turned right onto the road that goes down to the Santee River.
“It ended up losing control and going into the river… I got out my car and approached him to observe the car going under the water and the driver of the vehicle started to exit the vehicle. He couldn’t swim. He began to yell, “Help! Please help me! Please help me!”
That’s exactly what Corporal Graff did. He hopped in the water. “It was really scary. He was begging for his life. I said, ‘Hey buddy, grab onto my vest. Don’t let go, just kick your feet!’ We swam to the shore. We actually stopped by a tree and got our breath back. At that time my partner, Corporal Wade Worley come out there. He waded waist deep. He said, ‘Hey buddy, I’m here.’ I told the guy, I said, ‘swim to him and I’ll be right behind you.'”
While it was at night, the emotional moment Corp. Graff hugged Croker after saving his life was captured on camera. “We hugged each other. He said, ‘Man, you’re my hero.’ He said, When I get out of jail, I want you to come see my kids so they can see the hero that saved their daddy.'”
Croker was charged with one count of failure to stop for blue lights.