Police escort Surfside Beach councilman out of bank

On August 20, Surfside Beach police escorted recently-elected town councilman Randle Stevens from the Wells Fargo Bank on Highway 17 Business after an argument with a teller who refused to cash his $100 check.

Witnesses told police Stevens became irate when the teller refused to give him back a check she believed did not match the signature of the account holder.

The teller and bank manager could not contact the account holder with the bank's information on file, according to the report.

The bank manager told police Stevens then used his cell phone on speaker to call a person he claimed was the account holder.

The teller then told Stevens that was not an acceptable way to confirm the person he was calling was the account holder, the report says.

Witnesses say Stevens then became loud and boisterous and began yelling that he was a Surfside Beach town councilman. He made several disparaging remarks about the bank, saying other customers shouldn't bank there.

During the argument, the bank manager told police Stevens was asked several times by employees and a male customer to leave the bank.

The teller told Stevens she was going to call 9-1-1, at which time Steven encouraged her to call police and repeated he was a town councilman, according to the report.

When officers arrived, Stevens told them he knew the check was legitimate because he watched the account holder write the check and disagreed with the bank's refusal to cash the check or return the check to him.

He felt getting the account holder on the phone should be sufficient enough, according to the report.

Officers escorted Stevens outside while they got a statement from the bank teller.

The bank manager was asked if she wanted to give a trespass notice to Stevens, but she said she did not. Stevens was not arrested or charged.

The report says the check was returned to Stevens after the account holder went to a Georgetown Wells Fargo and confirmed he did authorize the check.

The check was written for $100, according to police.

Stevens was not an account-holder with the bank, according to the report.

Randle Stevens contacted NewsChannel 15 Saturday afternoon.

He said he plans to apologize during Monday's Surfside Beach council meeting.

He admitted he overacted but felt he was being treated like a "common criminal".

He also said he in no way was trying to use his position as councilman to get his check cashed.