Marco Antonio Lara (Fort Mill Police photo)

A Fort Mill police officer chased a driver who bailed from a traffic stop on U.S. 21 in the middle of the night Tuesday.

   The alleged driver, 26-year-old Marco Antonio Lara of Fort Mill, was later found in the area, sweating and out of breath. An officer asked him about the abandoned vehicle at the traffic stop, which Lara’s mother owns. 

   “Lara stated that it had been stolen and that he was running after it,” a report says.

   Here’s the problem with that story: Officers found Circle K bags in the abandoned Ford Ranger. So they went to the convenience store and checked the store video.

   “The video clearly shows Lara at the location having driven there and away when leaving moments prior to this incident,” a report says.

   Lara, of Dunwoody Avenue, was charged with reckless driving, driving under suspension – 2nd offense and failure to dim lights. The officer tried to make the initial traffic stop at 2 a.m. Tuesday because the driver failed to dim his lights, a report says. 

   A second suspect, believed to be a passenger, also ran from the vehicle, but the police report does not indicate an arrest. Facebook photos show that Lara attended a wedding on Monday night.

In other reports from Fort Mill police:

Drunk Drivers Caught on Springfield Parkway in 2 Unrelated Cases: On Memorial Day, a Fort Mill officer caught a drunk driver on Springfield Parkway when he stopped him for speeding  60 in a 45 mph zone.

   Laathony Crawford, 35, of Lancaster, reeked of alcohol around 7:50 p.m. Monday when the officer approached his 1991 Toyota Camry, a report says. The man told an officer that he had consumed a couple drinks at the pool before driving.

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   Crawford failed a field sobriety test and registered .20 BAC, more than twice the legal limit for driving. His license was immediately suspended for being impaired and he was charged with DUI, a police report says.

   In an unrelated case at 2 a.m. Tuesday, police made another DUI arrest on Springfield Highway. An officer made a traffic stop near Steele Street on a black BMW that failed to maintain a lane.

   The driver was 31-year-old Emily Jean Ostendorff of Fort Mill, and her vehicle smelled of alcohol, a report says. She failed a series of field sobriety tests and registered a .11 BAC at police headquarters. Ostendorf was arrested for DUI.

Customer Reports Woman’s Racial Slurs Inside Food Lion of Fort Mill: A Fort Mill man complained to police Monday afternoon after a white woman cursed and used racial slurs at him inside the Food Lion on Highway 160. 

   Ancil Kneece, 61, told an officer that the woman made the slur before leaving in a white Kia sedan. 

   “While officers were on the scene, the female subject who was involved called the store to apologize and disconnected before identifying herself,” a police report says.

   Food Lion employees told police that if the woman returned, they would call officers back to their store to place the woman on trespass notice. The store also asked for police to file a report to document the encounter.

Greg "Ricky Bobby" Rickabaugh has lived in the Fort Mill and York County community since 2006. He has covered the area while a reporter for The Charlotte Observer and a freelance writer for The Fort Mill...