A judge set bond for a man involved in a barricade and arson situation at a Myrtle Beach hotel, despite a police detective’s request to deny the action.
Judge J. Scott Long set bond for Kenneth Beachum, 33, at $385,000 Friday afternoon.
Beachum, of Mullins, was charged with arson, a false bomb threat, a false fire alarm, burglary, and throwing bodily fluids on an officer after barricading himself in a room of the Seaglass Tower at the Yachstman Resort Thursday in Myrtle Beach.
All the charges against Beachum are felonies except for the false fire alarm charge, which is a misdemeanor.
The bodily fluids charge stemmed from an incident after Beachum’s arrest, involving the detention officer guarding Beachum at the hospital, said a victim’s advocate present at the bond hearing. She also mentioned that at least two victims staying at the Yachstman Resort had their belongings damaged in the fire.
Myrtle Beach Police Detective Keith Hinton spoke during the bond hearing to request that the judge not set bail for Beachum.
Hinton stated that because Beachum set a fire in a building where people were present and threw phones from the balcony onto Ocean Boulevard, that “shows disregard for life around him.”
“I do find you to be a threat to society,” Judge Long said, citing “27 pages” of Beachum’s prior criminal history.
“I don’t believe you to be a flight risk,” Long said of his ultimate decision to set bond, stating that Beachum had a history of showing up for his court dates with older charges.
A mental evaluation will be arranged for Beachum. His next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 3.
A timeline of the police standoff
The nearly five-hour-long standoff began when a bomb threat made to the Olympic Pancake House led Myrtle Beach police officers to the Seaglass Tower, according to the Myrtle Beach Police Department. While police investigated the bomb threat, Beachum pulled a fire alarm, forcing hotel guests to evacuate.
A Myrtle Beach police officer on-scene of the standoff said the hotel was evacuated about 1:17 p.m.
He barricaded himself in a room on the seventh floor and called police. Dispatchers then spoke to Beachum on the phone until he threw more than one phone off the hotel room balcony.
Myrtle Beach police officers on-scene Thursday said they were initially called to a 911 hangup.
Spectators — many of whom were vacationers evacuated from the Yachtsman Resort — gathered in streets and parking lots and watched the standoff unfolded.
A little after 4 p.m., at least a dozen SWAT Team members stormed the Seaglass Tower.
Police detectives were seen negotiating with Beachum from an adjacent balcony for hours. During the course of the standoff, Beachum walked in and out of the hotel room several times, going back and forth between the balcony and the room. At one point, Beachum faced the crowd of spectators and law enforcement and smoked a cigarette. At another point, he stripped down to his underwear and threw his clothing off the balcony onto the street below, one item at a time.
About 4:45 p.m., Beachum set fire to furniture in the hotel room, according to police. Smoke could be seen pouring out onto the balcony whenever Beacham opened the sliding-glass door.
At least four Myrtle Beach firetrucks arrived on scene. Firefighters and police officers entered the room “to prevent loss of life or property,” even after sprinklers put the fire out, police said.
The standoff ended about 5:15 p.m. when Beachum was tased on the balcony and taken into custody,