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Deputies arrest two after chase in neighborhood
Investigators continue to search for gun suspect pulled on deputies during pursuit
Terrence Dillard - photo by Photo provided

Effingham County sheriff’s investigators arrested two suspects Thursday after a drug investigator fired at a suspect who reportedly pointed a gun at the investigators, and a Rincon homeowner is looking for a place to stay as a result of the chase.

According to the sheriff’s department, investigators were conducting a drug operation on Plantation Drive in Rincon around noon. Two suspects fled in a truck and the truck eventually ran into a house on Plantation Drive.

The suspects fled on foot and during the chase, one of them reportedly turned around and pointed a gun at the police. The investigator fired at the suspect but no one was hit. Both suspects, identified as Antwan Dillard, 20, of Springfield, and Terrence Dillard, 23, were arrested and taken to the Effingham County Jail.

Antwan Dillard is being charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, conspiracy to commit a felony, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, obstruction of an officer and loitering and prowling. He is the one sheriff’s investigators say brandished the weapon.

Terrance Dillard is being charged with criminal damage to property, criminal attempt to distribute cocaine, obstruction of an officer, loitering and prowling and reckless conduct.

The Dillards turned into a cul de sac, apparently unaware the street ended, and ran right into the front of Ricky Curtis’ house, clipping his Corvette along the way. They jumped out of the truck, a Chevrolet S-10, while it was still moving and left it in drive, and they took off in different directions.

Curtis had just left the house to play his midday lottery numbers.

“They almost hit me at the stop sign,” he said. “I guess that wasn’t enough.”

After their vehicle smashed into the front of Curtis’ house, the suspects got out and began running, leading to a foot chase with officers. But the damage they left to Curtis’ house is substantial.

“They tore the whole front of the house up,” Curtis said.

His house has been declared structurally unsound because of the damage, so Curtis has to find somewhere else to live until it’s fixed.

“We can’t stay in it,” he said. “The inside’s been re-arranged. I’m going to guard my house, I can tell you that. I won’t be far, I can guarantee you that.”

Maryann Black looked out her window and saw a man with a gun yelling at someone in her backyard. Not knowing it was one of the sheriff’s investigators, she called 911.

“After calling 911, they said, ‘that’s one of ours, that’s one of ours, just stay inside,’” Black said.

Black had a neighbor cutting the grass in her front yard, but he was wearing headphones and didn’t see or hear what was going on in the backyard.

Residents said the neighborhood is ordinarily quiet and nothing like this has ever taken place.

Sheriff’s deputies are canvassing the area looking for a handgun and Effingham Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie has asked residents of the Plantation Drive area to be aware that a handgun is unaccounted for in the area.

“We’re still looking for it,” Det. David Ehsanipoor said. “It’s a thick, wooded area back there.”

Officers from the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department have been assisting in the search for the gun.