A Eudora teenager on the run from police identified as 17-year-old Daylon Fulton is facing a litany of violent crimes. Known on the streets as DJ, Fulton has been charged in Chicot County Criminal District Court with aggravated robbery, terroristic acts, residential burglary, theft of property and third-degree escape.
Fulton still remains at large after fleeing from custody at the Eudora police department in Southeast Arkansas between 1:30 and 1:45 am on June 18.
In a development related to the suspect’s escape, Eudora Chief William El-Amin fired one of his officers, identified as 24-year-old Jovonte Harden, for improperly discharging his firearm when the suspect ran from the station. ”We must maintain the public trust by holding my officers accountable for wrongful actions. How can the public maintain trust in police when they do wrong against the public and nothing happens with the officer,” El-Amin said, offering his explanation for firing the officer.
Fulton managed to escape from custody after his mother had turned her wanted son in to the police because she discovered police had been searching for him.
The 17-year-old was wanted in connection with a string of felony charges. With handcuffs on in the front of him the teenager bolted out the front door and as of this reporting the fugitive hasn’t been captured yet.
Tenth Judicial Deputy Prosecuting Attorney David Cason told NewsBlaze that “Fulton will face punishment ranging from 10 years to 40 and up to life in prison on the aggravated robbery.” Cason said the terroristic act of shooting into a home where someone lives carries 5-20 years in prison.
Fulton’s burglary charge now carries a stiffer penalty. “Residential burglary in the state of Arkansas where someone occupies the home is now considered a violent crime,” Cason told NewsBlaze. “This young man is facing some heavy time,” Cason concluded.
Based on the nature of the charges, Chief El Amin said the fugitive suspect “should be considered armed and dangerous.”
“When Fulton is arrested he will face these charges in court as an adult,” El-Amin said.
In a odd twist to this crime spree was the fact, according to El-Amin, that one young man was inside a home when the fugitive fired shots into it, and that this same person has been shot at, at least two or three previous times. And on one occasion, the victim was hit by shotgun pellets.
Several shootings have occurred in Eudora since the shooting death of 18-month old Truth Turner on Mabry street in 2016. The infant was struck by a bullet from one of the guns fired by one of the shooters who stood across the street and repeatedly pumped bullets into the residence. o suspects have been charged in Turner’s death.
Police suspect some of this violence may or may not be some kind of retaliation related to the child’s death. “I’ve asked this young man why so many people have shot at him,” El-Amin said. “And he won’t give me a definitive answer.”
Chief El-Amin said the firing of officer Harden, on the same day the incident happened was for violation of department policy for improperly firing his weapon during the tense episode when officers tried to apprehend the fleeing suspect. El-Amin said the officer who been on the force for almost a year also violated Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards.
The Chief said he will report the incident to the governing body that maintains an officer’s certification to work as a policeman in the state. Officer Harden denied to El-Amin that he shot directly at the teenager but instead he claimed to have shot in the air, albeit a warning shot.
“His gun should not have come out of his holster unless there was a threat to life,” El-Amin stated. “Officer Harden was a hard-working, young officer, willing to work. I liked him.”
Word of the suspect’s escape and the rumors that spread thereafter in Eudora indicating that Harden had shot the youth triggered a flood of criticism on Facebook. According to El-Amin, people on social media exploited the situation by posting a photo of what appeared to be a gash on someone’s body to falsely show the young man had actually been shot by the officer. “There is no substantial evidence the suspect was shot or grazed. We checked area hospitals and there was no report of anyone being shot,” the Chief said. El-Amin referred back to how the officer made his mistake.
“Officer Harden’s job was to watch the juvenile inside the station but he left his post unattended and when this happened the suspect fled out the front door. As officer Harden and another officer, including myself trailed behind him, the suspect went north on Archer street, then he made a right turn on Gordon, and ran toward the Bank on Main street. And this is when I heard a shot.”
El-Amin said since the suspect “was running away in handcuffs, with his back turned, that there was no imminent life threatening situation to the officers or to anyone’s else’s life.”
“At the academy,” El-Amin further explained, “police officers train to prepare for situations. Nobody knows how someone will react when a real-life situation happens. But officers have to rely on their training.”
El-Amin said fugitive Daylon Fulton started his crime spree on June 16, at approximately 1:am when he robbed a person named Duke at gunpoint at Chicot Apartments, taking $30.
Around 1:30 am, an eyewitness saw Fulton fire multiple shots into a mobile home at 1300 Academy street. Burglary and theft charges stemmed from the break-in of a home at 800 block of Prospect street where two guns and a TV was taken. This burglary was reported later that morning of June 16. But El-Amin said the guns and the TV were recovered and that the suspect lived next door to where the burglary occurred. El-Amin further said he will conduct an investigation into whether a second person may have been with Daylon Fulton when the shots were fired at the home on Academy street.
Located deep in the Delta tristate region, Eudora Arkansas is a small, low-income community where everybody knows each other. It is a community which thrives on gossip and sometimes false rumors.
Eudora was once a pretty quiet, country area until illegal drugs struck the sleepy town like a thunderstorm leaving many hopelessly addicted to the lure of narcotics. Citizens often complained how this town may never be the same again. Crime and drugs has engulfed this place in a way that more police are needed.
Eudora Chief El-Amin is determined to track down lawbreakers and arrest them. Yet El-Amin insists the police need help at times.
“Police cannot do it all,” El-Amin says. “We will do our part to protect and serve. But we need citizens to get involved, to also care about their own community,” the chief lamented.
Newsblaze Reporter & Investigative Journalist Clarence Walker can be reached: [email protected]