Golfers in Summerville help authorities nab North Carolina fugitive
Golfers who noticed a man trying to sneak across a course on Wednesday helped federal and local authorities nab a fugitive wanted in North Carolina.
Elijah McCutchen, 21, was captured in a residential area near Pine Forest Country Club with the help of golfers and a Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office tracking dog. McCutchen is charged by the Bladen County, N.C., Sheriff’s Office with attempted murder and burglary.
McCutchen is accused of firing a shot at a woman as she was pulling into her driveway, while he was burglarizing her home, according to U.S. Marshal Frank C. Conroy of the Operation Intercept Fugitive Task Force.
Conroy said the task force received information that McCutchen was at a mobile home in the 200 block of Dean Drive near Summerville. But minutes before investigators approached the address provided, McCutchen slipped out the back door and ran onto the golf course.
About 11 a.m., task force members with Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office deputies and a tracking dog began following the fugitive’s trail into the golf course. Conroy said golfers noticed a man, “who certainly was not dressed in golfing attire and wasn’t carrying any golf clubs,” creeping along the tree line and ducking down when groups passed by.
“He would lie down and wait for golfers to pass him by, then he would get up,” Conroy said.
“We were following him, hole to hole, and he was three or four holes ahead of us. Some of the golfers noticed what was going on and would point for us and say, ‘He went that way,’ ” Conroy said.
He said the golfers and the dog led authorities to an adjacent neighborhood, where McCutchen was apprehended. No weapons were found on him, he said.
Conroy said the officers were not able to go back to the golf course to thank those who aided the capture, but added he would like to extend his thanks now.
Kelvin Washington, the U.S. marshal for South Carolina, said McCutchen “didn’t anticipate a dog being able to track his scent” or that residents would point law enforcement in the right direction.
“Thanks to everyone’s hard work in capturing Mr. McCutchen, he can now face justice back in North Carolina,” Washington said.
Reach Edward C. Fennell at 937-5560.