Alleged rape victim wants Army investigation in suspect's escape
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—A 15-year-old alleged rape victim, her grandparents and attorney Gloria Allred demanded today an Army investigation into how the accused rapist was able to escape military custody and avoid recapture for a week.
The call for a military inquiry into the escape of rifleman Daniel Brazelton, 20, from custody at Fort Stewart near Hinesville, Ga., while awaiting extradition to California came during a news conference at Allred's offices. The alleged victim, identified only as Jaymee, appeared with her grandparents, Donna and Larry Doza, who are also her legal guardians.
Brazelton, the accused rapist, was on active duty at the time of the alleged attack and was arrested at the base in Georgia on Feb. 3 on a charge of raping a minor, according to Allred. Brazelton was held in Liberty County Jail and, four days after his arrest, waived extradition to California to face
On Feb. 11, Allred said, Brazelton was taken from the jail to Fort Stewart—it's the largest military installation east of the Missisippi River and home to the Army's 3rd Infantry Division—for treatment of an undisclosed medical problem.
While in Army custody, the suspect was able to get a cell phone to send several messages to his Facebook page, to send greetings to his friends and family and to tell them he was being taken back to California to go to jail.
Later that day while Brazelton was being brought back to Fort Stewart, he escaped from a vehicle while stuck in traffic. Allred said it was unclear if Brazelton was handcuffed.
The Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies issued a special bulletin, stating that Brazelton was believed to be en route to Palmdale or Lancaster and should be considered "armed and dangerous,'' Allred said.
Deputies advised the alleged victim of Brazelton's escape, she said.
Allred said her client was frightened, because Brazelton was an expert marksman and had previously posted a photo of his gun on his web page and talked about getting a silencer. Brazelton was caught in Daytona Beach, Fla. on Friday and taken into custody without a struggle.
Allred said the escape traumatized her client, and she was appalled by the lax security demonstrated by the Army.
"I was living in fear because Daniel was out there somewhere,'' Jaymee said. "I was worried about what he might say or do while he was free and not in custody of law enforcement.''
She demanded that Brazelton take responsibility for his actions, though she said his escape indicated he was unwilling to do so.
Jaymee said she wanted an explanation from the Army for letting him escape.
"The Army needs to own up and fix what they are doing wrong in transporting a soldier arrested on a rape charge, so that no other family has to go through the fear of their lives being taken because of their irresponsibility.''
Donna Doza said Brazelton's escape changed their lives.
"Jaymee was not able to go to school for a week and had to be isolated until we could provide a plan to increase security,'' she said "Our daily routine was upset. We were constantly double-locking our doors and we were watching our property day and night, on the lookout for any possible intruder.''
Doza said she believed the Army was "negligent'' in its handling of Brazelton.
Allred wondered if Brazelton got help "from others in his unit or in the Army?
"Was he handcuffed during his transfer by the Army? How did he acquire a cell phone to send several messages to his Facebook page? Was he permitted to have a weapon while in custody? How was he able to escape the van he was being transported in, and why did the Army never contact the victim or her family about Brazelton's escape,'' Allred said.
Allred said she would write to U.S. Army Secretary John McHugh and to Sens. Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein demanding they investigate the escape and answer her client's questions.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The weeklong search for an army private suspected of raping a 15-year-old girl in the Antelope Valley ended on Friday when he was arrested in Florida, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Daniel Brazelton of Palmdale was staying in a hotel in Daytona Beach, Fla. where he surrendered to the U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Division and Daytona Beach Police Department around 7:20 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Capt. Mike Parker said.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—A 20-year-old Army private who escaped from custody in Georgia while awaiting extradition to Los Angeles County on suspicion of raping a teenage girl may be headed back to the Southland, authorities said today.
Until Friday, Daniel Brazelton had been jailed in Hinesville, Ga., awaiting extradition to face prosecution for allegedly raping a 15-year-old in December 2009, said Capt. Mike Parker of the Sheriff's Headquarters Bureau.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—A 15-year-old Antelope Valley girl who was allegedly raped by an Army rifleman who escaped last month, prompting a weeklong national manhunt that ended with his arrest in Florida, said she was thankful to have received an apology from the Army, but she wanted more done.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The space shuttle Endeavour, which was built in Palmdale to replace the destroyed Challenger shuttle, will be placed on display at the California Science Center in Exposition Park after its upcoming final mission, NASA announced today.
"Endeavour will now become the centerpiece of the third phase of the Science Center's 25-year master plan and will be a major air and space gallery on the east end of our building,'' center CEO Jeffrey N. Rudolph said.
PALMDALE, Calif.—A 17-year-old father who fatally stabbed his 5-month-old son today was shot and killed by sheriff's deputies in Palmdale, authorities said.
The sheriff's department received a report at 11 a.m. that the baby was abducted, Capt. Mike Parker of the Sheriff's Headquarters Bureau said.
Deputies were told that the father kidnapped his son from a person who was taking care of the baby and drove away, Parker said.