Police Officer William Joseph Werner, IV

Police Officer William Joseph Werner, IV

Westminster Police Department, South Carolina

End of Watch Sunday, August 18, 1991

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William Joseph Werner, IV

Officer Werner was struck by a car and killed during a roadblock.

He and his partner had set up the roadblock at approximately 3:15 AM at the request of other officers who reported a driver was refusing to stop. As the suspect approached, both officers moved away from the vehicle. The suspect initially started to go to the left of the roadblock. When he saw the officers, he turned to the right, left the road, and went across the grassy field. Officer Werner turned to go back to the patrol car for cover when he slipped and fell into the damp grass. As he was rising, he was struck in the chest by the suspect's vehicle and drug underneath for approximately 50 feet. The suspect then backed his car off of Officer Werner and fled the scene.

The 23-year-old suspect was arrested at his home a short time later. As deputies took him into custody, he set his dog on one who was bitten. During his time in jail until his trial on January 27, 1992, he was constantly bragging about "having killed a pig." The suspect was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to three years in prison. Charges of driving with a revoked license and failure to stop for a blue light and siren that were dropped were reinstated by another judge days later. On September 30, 1992, he was convicted of the charges and sentenced to 5 years. He was paroled in April of 1994. Three months later, he was charged with driving under the influence and driving with a revoked license and returned to prison to serve the remainder of his sentence.

Officer Werner was a United States Air Force security police officer veteran and was two days shy of his one-year anniversary with the Westminster Police Department. He was survived by his wife, two sons, parents, and grandmother.


  • Age 27
  • Tour 7 years
  • Badge 407
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Vehicular assault
  • Weapon Not available
  • Offender Sentenced to 3 years


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