“He's in critical condition. He ain't going nowhere,” he said. “I'm just worried about him.”
Parton has a troubled past, said his step-grandmother, Sharon Gunkel. He has a juvenile criminal record, but had taken steps recently to turn his life around.
He spent his teen years in the custody of the state Department of Human Services and has a history of running away. Police said he has a juvenile record that includes a host of misdemeanor offenses and a warrant arrest from 2011.
Relatives said Parton's father has never been in his life and his mother is mentally ill. Parton does not have a high school diploma, but earned a welding certificate after moving to a life-skills training center in his late teens. More recently, he had participated in Job Corps, an education and job training program sponsored by the federal government.
“He was willing to work and was excited to get the rest of his education and get a job,” Sharon Gunkel said.
Then things fell apart.
“Something has happened in the last month or so,” Sharon Gunkel said. Parton does not have a home and had been staying with his girlfriend.
After the chase Sunday, police arrested Rafael Zermeno, 17, on outstanding juvenile felony warrants. The third male in the car was not arrested, Nelson said.
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