The Statesboro Police Department has released details regarding Wednesday night’s SWAT call out.
According to SPD, around 7:30 p.m., patrol officers responded to the Garden District Apartments for an unwanted person at that location. The legal tenant reported that a
former boyfriend, Dequar Stephenson (21, Columbia, SC), was currently inside of the apartment without her permission. Officers were familiar with Stephenson, who had
active arrest warrants in Statesboro for Theft by Taking and Criminal Trespass along with a Felony Probation Violation warrant. Stephenson had recently moved to
Statesboro from Richland County, SC after having been granted bond in that jurisdiction on a September 2021 arrest for murder.
As officers approached the Garden District apartment, they observed Stephenson inside of the apartment at which point he closed the door and refused to exit. For reasons of officer safety, a perimeter was established, additional officers were brought in, and SWAT was asked to respond. After several hours of trying to establish communication with Stephenson, gas was deployed by SWAT into the apartment. A subsequent forced entry was made by SWAT, however Stephenson was not inside. It is believed that he escaped out of a third story window just prior to the perimeter being established. A firearm was located inside the apartment that did not belong to the
tenant and was seized by detectives.
Patrol officers began a concentrated patrol of the surrounding complexes searching for Stephenson. Shortly after midnight, Patrol officers developed information that he may be hiding in an apartment at Cambridge the Pines on Lanier Drive. Officers made contact with the occupants of that apartment, were allowed to enter it, and discovered Stephenson in one of the bedrooms. He was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Bulloch County Jail. He remains there pending further judicial action.
Despite rumors to the contrary, no hostage situation ever evolved during the incident with Stephenson.
SPD would like to thank the staff at the Garden District for their cooperation with officers during this incident.