Mendocino Village was agog last week when multiples of police agencies cordoned off the town to flush out Sean Fullwood, 22, of Ocala, Florida, jewel thief, and a young man with a taste for the finer things.
Fullwood had first stayed in the Mendocino Hotel before moving to an apartment on Main Street. He'd been in town for about three weeks, brazenly going about his fugitive business in a spiffy black Land Rover with Florida plates. Mr. Fullwood was fully settled in and was said to be making inquiries as to how he might buy a large load of Mendo bud for re-sale in the Southland. The U.S. Marshal's Office had tracked Fullwood to Mendocino, we can surmise, by tapping a family member's or a friend's telephone.
Back in Mendocino on Tuesday the first day of March, and before the police cordon was fully in place, Fullwood, accompanied by a young woman he'd brought with him from the land of mint juleps was spotted strolling the Mendocino Headlands. When the young man saw the long arm of the law reaching out for him, he dashed back into town and disappeared. A CHP helicopter soon hovered over the modest seaside cluster of ice cream parlors and trinket shops that comprise the village as residents and businesses were alerted by the reverse 911 emergency system that an armed and dangerous man was on the loose, and that they should all stay indoors until it was safe to resume shopping.
Officers “held the perimeter for about two and a half hours” before Dutch the police dog arrived from Laytonville to flush the young bandit out of the bushes. Dutch had been hustled over from Laytonville where he'd been on drug duty. “Dutch found [Fullwood] in about 20 minutes,” said Lt. Bushnell of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Department. Bushnell also said that Dutch had taken a nice bite out of Fullwood before Fullwood, who had been hunkered down in a narrow space between buildings not far from the famous Mendocino headlands, walked out into full view with his hands up, Dutch snarling at his ankles.
The Florida man was soon on his way to Mendocino Coast District Hospital in Fort Bragg where doctors determined that Dutch's bite would not be fatal. Fullwood was then driven to Ukiah where he was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he remains awaiting extradition to Florida. The young woman who'd been with Fullwood was apparently unaware of his adventures back home and was not arrested.
At Fullwood's Mendocino apartment, officers discovered what they described as an “assault rife” and a handgun. Fullwood is wanted in Florida for the armed robbery of an Alchua County jewelry store on October 9th of 2010. He'd run out the door with more than $200,000 in diamonds. Described by townspeople as a “pretty boy,” Fullwood's myspace page says he's been “runnin the streets since 88,” the year he was born. Fullwood has listed his occupation as college student at Florida Community College where he says he obtained an AA degree in business with a minor in economics, perhaps concluding, like many aspiring capitalists before him, that crime is often a short cut to capital accumulation.
However Mr. Fullwood was pursuing free enterprise, he had already enjoyed enough success to win recognition at a Florida car show for “Best Exotic car, a Lamborghini Gallardo.”
Fullwood has owned other expensive cars, and also enjoyed spending time at the horse races. The 23-year-old had clearly developed a taste for the high life at an early age, not that the high life as he lived it was without its occupational hazards.
In January of 2010, in what drug agents blandly described as “a drug-related incident” Fullwood, with the cops looking on, staggered into a “blue Honda” with a gunshot wound to his “upper right arm.”
Upper right arm? On the other side of one's upper right arm is one's neck, above which rests one's head. One of the friends of Fullwood from the blue Honda “was arrested and issued a notice to appear for misdemeanor possession of marijuana when a bag of marijuana was found on his person. The suspect vehicle where the shooting occurred is described as a dark gray Mitsubishi Gallant, 4-door, with tinted windows. Two black males had occupied it at the time of the incident. The identities of the black males is unknown and the vehicle has not been located at this time.” Putting two and one together, it seems that one of the black males shot Fullwood in the arm.