Sheriff admits to slapping high speed chase suspect

Sheriff Cannon speaks to the media on Wednesday. (WCIV)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- At an emergency press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon admitted he slapped a high speed chase suspect with his open hand.

The sheriff said he has always believed in being open with the media.

Cannon described 31-year-old Timothy McManus as "crazy" earlier this week. The sheriff says McManus led deputies on a dangerous, high speed chase in which the sheriff was forced to pull to his gun and fire several times.

"The level of recklessness that he was driving would have justified the use of deadly force," Cannon said.

Before slapping Timothy McManus, Sheriff Cannon said he asked him "What the BLEEP is wrong with you?" and said "You could have killed a lot of people."

The sheriff said McManus was handcuffed in the back of the car and when he responded "Ain't nothing wrong with me, man," he slapped him.

The statement Cannon read to the media on Wednesday sharing the details of the incident was the same statement provided to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).

"In retrospect, that was wrong," he said. "That's not something I would accept of my folks and it's clearly not something I would accept of myself."

McManus was taken into custody after the gunfire in the Francis Marion National Forest. Officials say when McManus lost control of his truck, he got out and tried to reach under his front seat. Officers tackled him and as he continued to struggle until K-9 Ivar "apprehended" his upper right arm.

According to radio transmissions obtained by ABC News 4 from the sheriff's office, Cannon started following McManus in Mount Pleasant.

"He just passed the Isle of Palms Connector," said Cannon, while in pursuit. "He is walking (driving) away from me, in and out of cars."

McManus repeatedly was clocked at speeds faster than 100 mph.

As for whether any disciplinary action will be taken against Cannon still isn't clear.

"That's out of my hands.{} There are all sorts of aspects of that yet to play out," Cannon said.

ABC News 4 contacted a SLED spokesperson about this case and has yet to receive a comment.

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