by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:
LANCASTER, S.C. - Lancaster County's former sheriff is facing criminal charges after police said he used a slingshot to damage his neighbor's homes.
John Cauthen turned himself into police Thursday morning after the alleged vandalism.
Police admit Cauthen's alleged behavior is certainly unusual considering he spent more than a decade as Lancaster County's top officer.
They told Channel 9 they have no idea of a possible motive in this case.
Cauthen appeared before a judge in Rock Hill Municipal Court Thursday afternoon in handcuffs after he turned himself in.
Cauthen was polite and quiet as he told the judge he was disabled and retired.
An hour later, Channel 9 cameras caught Cauthen walking his dog outside his Rock Hill home before he disappeared inside.
Police said Cauthen used a slingshot to shoot marbles, pellets and paintballs at his neighbor's home, shattering her glass storm door and damaging her siding and garage door and frame.
Another neighbor also reported Cauthen damaged her car windshield and vinyl siding with shotgun pellets and other ammunition.
In court, Cauthen openly told the judge he had been in law enforcement his entire life and was the former sheriff.
“Is this your first arrest? Have you ever been arrested before?” the judge said.
“Yes, your honor, I’ve never even had a traffic ticket your honor,” Cauthen said.
Police tell Channel 9 they also found slingshot pellets in Cauthen's own yard.
Cauthen told Channel 9 he pleaded not guilty and would not comment on the case.
He will return to court in October.
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