A text message saved a woman who was kidnapped on the Coast, sheriff says

Hubert O'Neal Fulton Jr.
Hubert O'Neal Fulton Jr.

A woman who reported her boyfriend kidnapped her texted a witness her location when the Bay St. Louis man stopped for gas, Sheriff Troy Peterson said.

Deputies stopped the westbound vehicle driven by Herman O’Neal Fulton Jr. at the 20 mile marker on Interstate 10 and rescued the woman, Peterson said Monday.

Fulton had driven at least seven miles from the 11500 block of Acorn Drive, where he took the woman from her home Saturday, Peterson said. The neighborhood is off Oaklane Drive south of Orange Grove Road. It’s about a 20-minute drive to the location where they were found.

Deputies arrested the 38-year-old Fulton on a kidnapping charge and a misdemeanor charge of simple domestic assault.

The woman told detectives Fulton forced her into his vehicle by shoving her and pulling her hair, Peterson said.

While Fulton stopped for gas at Love’s Travel Stop on County Farm Road off Interstate 10, the woman sent a text message to a man who had witnessed the kidnapping, and the witness relayed their location to the sheriff’s department, he said.

“She was fine, but I imagine she was pretty shaken up,” Peterson said.

The woman and the witness have provided most of the details, but Fulton hasn’t had much to say, Peterson said.

Detectives aren’t sure why Fulton took her or where he was heading with her, he said.

Fulton was booked at the Harrison County jail on a $200,000 bond set by Justice Court Judge Brandon Ladner. The simple domestic assault charge carries a $1,000 bond set by justice court.

Fulton, a felon, was convicted of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance after an arrest by the sheriff’s department in 2013, the Harrison County jail docket shows.

He served time in jail for simple domestic assault, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace in 2014.

The same year, he was facing charges of burglary of a home, embezzlement and a separate burglary in Hancock County the same year, the Hancock County jail docket shows. The resolution of those felonies wasn’t immediately available.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews