Police charged the man who was the subject of a barricade situation that closed part of Ocean Boulevard for about five hours.
Kenneth Beachum, 33, was charged with arson, false bomb threat, false fire alarm and burglary after barricading himself in a room in the Seaglass Tower at the Yachstman Resort on Thursday at Myrtle Beach.
Beachum, from Mullins, was arrested after a standoff of several hours with members of the SWAT team and the Myrtle Beach Police Department.
The stalemate began when a bomb threat from the Olympic Pancake House led police from Myrtle Beach to the Seaglass Tower, according to a Facebook post from the Myrtle Beach Police Department. While police investigated the bomb threat, Beachum set off a fire alarm, forcing hotel guests to evacuate, police said.
He barricaded himself in a room on the seventh floor and called the police. Dispatchers then spoke to Beachum on the phone until he threw his phone from the hotel room balcony.
Myrtle Beach police officers on site Thursday said they were originally called for a 911 hang-up.
Onlookers – many of whom were vacationers evacuated from the Yachtsman Resort – gathered in the streets and parking lots and watched at least a dozen members of the SWAT team storm the Seaglass Tower. Authorities were seen negotiating with Beachum from an adjacent balcony for hours. During the standoff, Beachum walked in and out of the hotel room several times, back and forth between the balcony and the bedroom. At one point, Beachum faced the crowd of spectators and law enforcement and smoked a cigarette. At another point, he undressed and threw his clothes off the balcony into the street below.
At around 4:45 p.m., Beachum set fire to the furniture in the hotel room, according to the Facebook post. You could see smoke coming out of the sliding glass door that led to the balcony.
At least four Myrtle Beach fire trucks arrived at the scene. Firefighters and police entered the room “to avoid loss of life or property” even after sprinklers extinguished the blaze, according to the Facebook post.
The standoff ended when Beachum was thrown onto the balcony and taken into custody, Cpl. Tom Vest of the Myrtle Beach Police Department confirmed Thursday evening.
Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock praised law enforcement for handling the situation, according to the Facebook post.
“This was a rapidly evolving incident that required a joint response from multiple agencies. Our partnerships and training have resulted in a positive end, and I am proud of our team for their courage and for bringing Beachum into safe custody. “