Judge tells man ordered out of state he can return to SC

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A judge told a man accused of stalking a neighbor and shutting down a bridge in a suicide attempt that he could return to the state as long as he wore an ankle monitor.

Phillip DeClemente went before a bond court judge Friday morning seeking a bond reduction and a return to South Carolina, which was granted -- with one caveat. The judge told DeClemente he could return to South Carolina if he wore an ankle monitor.

Attorneys said Friday the DeClemente's business had suffered during his departure and he needs to return. The judge allowed it, so long as DeClemente had no contact with his alleged victim and attended mandatory mental health screenings until March 2015.

In February, DeClemente was arrested and charged with threats and intimidation and failure to stop for blue lights. He was also charged with stalking.

DeClemente was denied bond on those stalking charges, but eventually was released on a $25,000 surety bond on the condition he left the state. So, he moved to Florida to live with his family.

It was the second time the man was accused of shutting down the Ravenel Bridge.

Police say the ordeal earlier this year started after a failed traffic stop at Dunbar and North Bridge. The officers did not give chase and police say Declemente drove onto the bridge, called police and gave his location.

According to affidavits available in bond court Sunday, Declemente went to the victim's home after sending several text messages saying, "I'm going to find you and take care of you!"

A short time later, affidavits show Declemente showed up at the victim's home, banged on the door, and shouted threats. The victim told police he had known Declemente for several years but they were not on friendly terms because of an argument.

The victim also said he was fearful for his safety, the affidavits read.

Two years earlier, DeClemente threatened to drive his vehicle off the bridge in a suicide attempt in 2012, according to police.

In a statement a month after the 2012 incident, DeClemente wrote, "[t]his was done in a desperate attempt to get justice. I apologize to anybody who suffered any type of loss."

DeClemente says his problems started in 2010 while he was at a local private investigation firm in West Ashley. He claims there was something he felt was wrong and he voiced his concerns.

DeClemente said he even went as far as to notify SLED in a letter. That's when, he said, police began to target him.

DeClemente was arrested several times on charges ranging from kidnapping, to assault, and theft.

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