The escape by a Fort Stewart soldier from military custody last week is being questioned by investigators, the media and the alleged victim’s family.
Pvt. Daniel Brazelton, 20, of the 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, was apprehended at about 7:20 p.m. Feb. 18 by the Daytona Beach Police Department at the Heritage Inn hotel on Ridgewood Avenue in Holly Hill, Fla., according to a news release from Fort Stewart public affairs and a report by the Daytona Beach News Journal. Brazelton is
wanted for the alleged sexual assault of a 15-year-old Los Angeles County girl.
Brazelton’s escape Feb. 11 from a van on Airport Road prompted a nationwide manhunt. The soldier reportedly exited the van and ran to a treeline while he was being returned to the Liberty County jail following a medical appointment for an unnamed condition on Fort Stewart.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Capt. Michael Parker said Brazelton, who had been reported armed and dangerous upon his escape, was not armed when he was taken into custody.
The suspect is awaiting extradition to California. He is being held in the Volusia County Jail in Florida and will be extradited to Los Angeles County, Calif., from there.
Currently, there are no plans to bring Brazelton back to Fort Stewart, Fort Stewart spokesman Kevin Larson said in a news release.
Agents from the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division and the U.S. Marshals Service are continuing the investigation.
Monday, KABC TV reporter Miriam Hernandez contacted the Coastal Courier about the investigation into Brazelton’s escape.
Hernandez reported Brazelton was arrested on Fort Stewart on assault charges Feb. 3. The alleged attack reportedly took place over a year ago, she told the Courier.
According to Hernandez, Brazelton supposedly was texting messages to his Facebook page about being expedited back to California while he was in military custody.
Hernandez’s report also included a theory that Brazelton may have returned to Fort Stewart and retrieved a gun after his escape, based on information she received from an unnamed source within the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office.
According to a report by KTLA.com, the alleged victim and her guardians told reporters after hearing of Brazelton’s escape they were fearful the suspect would return to their area and kept the teenage girl home from school for a week.
KTLA.com also reported the alleged victim’s family has engaged the services of high-profile attorney Gloria Allred.
Allred is a founding member and partner of Allred, Maroko & Goldberg. The southern California law firm is known for taking on cases involving employment discrimination, civil rights violations, rape, child sexual abuse and murder, according to www.amglaw.com.
Allred reportedly said the family would send letters demanding answers about Brazelton’s escape to United States Secretary of the Army John McHugh and to U.S. senators Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein, according to KTLA.com.