Evicted Rock Hill veteran, 84, faced being homeless in the cold. Then police showed up.


Several Rock Hill police officers Thursday worked to keep an 84-year-old military veteran who was being evicted in 20-degree temperatures from being homeless.

The officers’ efforts from the Selective Enforcement Unit run by Lt. Vernon Harmon have led to an investigation into whether the man is a victim of elder abuse and theft, police said.

Rock Hill Police Department officers were called Thursday morning to assist a magistrate’s constable in an eviction in the 1200 block of Eden Terrace, a report shows.

The constable told the officers that one resident, 84, was too frail to be put out on the street. Another resident advised that he would seek emergency housing for the man.

But that plan fell through because shelters were unable to house the older man with health problems during the extreme cold snap, and the man had no money for a motel.

Lt. Harmon and the officers returned to the scene and decided that “it was clear to officers that if he was not taken into protective custody, the elderly man could have suffered serious health issues or possibly death due to the below-freezing temperatures.”

The officers went “above and beyond to protect this man,” said Capt. Mark Bollinger, spokesman for the department.

Detectives were notified after allegations were made that the elderly man should be receiving about $1,200 per month in benefits from Veterans Affairs and Social Security.

The man’s bank card had been stolen, and hundreds of dollars supposed to be earmarked for his rent and utilities had not been paid and was missing, a report said.

Officers took the man to Piedmont Medical Center and notified the S.C. Department of Social Services to assist him for placement, police said.