Daniel Hampton discovered himself alone behind bars, sitting on a chilly, ragged cot within the Blount County Justice Middle and questioning the place he had gone incorrect in his life.
Hampton, a 2007 Loudon Excessive Faculty graduate, was accused in 2010 of dealing cocaine at a residence in Loudon. He was placed on probation however finally broke the deal midway by his sentence attributable to one other encounter with unlawful medication.
He was sentenced to 180 days in jail — an expertise he now seems again on as a “life saver.”
“I acquired tangled up and thought I may promote medication or no matter, and so they caught me. It form of makes you backpedal,” he stated. “After that time, fortunately after I had acquired in hassle, you reap what you sow. I needed to do six months in jail, and my little boy is what modified me. He had simply been born, and I had seen him stroll by the visitation glass. I informed my spouse, ‘I’m not going to vary,’ however the best way God works, I acquired out.”
Hampton grew up in Loudon below the care of fine grandparents who shared a strong religion within the Lord.
“I dwell proper right here and was down right here day-after-day, and there’s no place like house. I like the small-town side,” he stated. “My daddy wasn’t actually there, my grandparents raised me, my mother was out and in. It wasn’t tough so far as once I was going by it, however now I’m like, ‘Dang, that was tough.’ I keep in mind numerous issues that weren’t proper, and I really feel like I turn into a product of my surroundings.”
He progressively started to go down the incorrect path as he acquired older.
“It didn’t have something to do with my grandparents elevating me as a result of I’ve the very best grandparents on the earth,” he stated. “It was tough on them as a result of I’m the primary biracial child of their household, and all of this sort performs into impact as a result of they form of get shunned from their household. It was me and my brother, we stayed with grandmom — she’s divorced, residing by herself, single. She did all the things for us, and so they taught us proper from incorrect. However nonetheless, it’s the folks you hang around with. I really feel like the image that was painted for me and what I believed, I imply there was no query I wasn’t going to varsity. No matter was happening in my thoughts was the truth that I used to be just about ruined.”
“I used to be continually doing incorrect, however I nonetheless regarded good on this aspect. I’d go make my little cash or no matter, and there’s no excuse for why I did it — I used to be surrounded by it,” he stated. “Come to seek out out, folks that you just maintain to the next customary that’s within the church. I used to be seeing folks from the church get medication from my cousins and them. I used to be the nice child. I used to be just like the final one in my household to become involved in it, and I simply felt like I had it discovered at that time. It acquired to the purpose the place I give up going to church as a result of it was like, ‘Man, these aren’t no members, these are those who’s doing applications and stuff.’ It simply actually made me stray away from my religion, and I clung to a different sort of religion.”
Hampton determined to pursue a barber licensure upon graduating highschool, however a number of detours delayed his certification by practically two years.
“Barbering was going to be my cousin’s factor, however then he acquired locked up. Actually, I used to be simply sitting and making an attempt to suppose, ‘Why did I do that?’” he stated. “You needed to have 1,500 hours, and I used to be simply going to purchase time. Whether or not I actually thought if I used to be going to complete barber faculty on time, I don’t know. I used to be going at 2 p.m., coming again within the neighborhood and doing my factor or no matter. It took me from 2007 to December of 2009 to graduate from barber faculty, and it shouldn’t occur like that. I acquired kicked out a number of instances, and I needed to beg to get again in.”
In 2010, Hampton obtained a sealed indictment for promoting cocaine and was sentenced to probation.
Midway by his sentence, Hampton was allowed to journey outdoors the county for a weeklong trip. Nonetheless, he failed a drug check upon returning and was sentenced to 6 months in jail in November 2010.
“I am going again to Loudon and I needed to sit within the county for 3 months, and I form of talked slightly loopy to a few officers and so they form of blackballed me, and so I did my subsequent 90 days in Blount County,” Hampton stated. “We recover from there, and it’s form of tough over there. There ain’t no stress-free. You’ve acquired to come back out of your cell three or 4 instances a day. There ain’t no sleeping.”
Whereas incarcerated in Blount County, actuality hit onerous when he seen the person within the adjoining cell was somebody he knew.
“Consider it or not the person that we used to filth with, I get up and that is the person that I’ve been doing any form of my incorrect enterprise with,” Hampton stated. “I used to be like, ‘Wow, that is the man doing 20 to life.’ At that time, I believe that’s when my life actually modified all the best way. I needed to be like him. That’s how God works. There’s so many pods and so many cells, and so they put me subsequent door to this man that I needed to be like. I used to be like, ‘You’ll be able to’t win’.”
“I accomplished informed her to depart, however the officers would come inform me, ‘Look, you’ll want to name that lady. She loves you,’ however I used to be like, ‘I’m not altering’,” Hampton stated. “However man, she by no means missed a go to. She missed one go to as a result of she was at work. Even once I went over to Blount County, she by no means missed a go to and put cash on the cellphone. I had a child on the market and he or she’s juggling the newborn and nonetheless going to work, and man, I couldn’t ask for a greater spouse.”
Serving time was troublesome on the household.
“I grew up in a household the place my dad was into medication, and I had informed him that I by no means needed to deliver our child up into it, but it surely was quick and simple cash for him so he continued to do it,” Temeka stated. “Danarius was in all probability 6 or 7 months outdated after we went to jail, and it was the toughest time I’ve ever been by.”
Hampton remembers nothing however pleasure when he was launched in Could 2011. He additionally started to pursue his relationship with God once more.
“After I acquired out, simply to be out and realizing what I actually may’ve confronted, there ain’t no telling what they gave these guys,” he stated. “As a human, I assume everybody seems like, ‘Poor ole me.’ You’ve acquired to take a look at the brighter aspect of issues. I used to be actually within the church at that time, and also you’ve acquired folks to lean on. It’s the identical those who knew what I used to be doing once I was doing incorrect.”
Loudon Police Sgt. Scott Newman served as Hampton’s faculty useful resource officer at LHS and has identified him most of his life.
He witnessed Hampton’s turnaround firsthand.
“He had slightly tough highway beginning out, and he’s like numerous younger males that make some unhealthy selections, however he noticed the errors of his methods and he modified,” Newman stated.
Hampton returned to Loudon and began Hamp’s True Definition Barbershop in 2012 on Grove Road earlier than relocating to Mulberry Road.
“I used to mess my very own hair up and acquired uninterested in going to the barbershop round right here,” he stated. “There’s no barbershop to get like shaved or fades. I by no means actually practiced on anyone … however I’m creative. My granddaddy was like, ‘What are you going to do?’ So I simply jumped.”
Newman, Loudon County Mayor Rollen “Buddy” Bradshaw and others at the moment are common clients and revel in stopping by any likelihood they get.
“His barbershop represents numerous the youthful youth that are available in there and can hang around and inform tales of outdated soccer days and stuff like that,” Newman stated. “It’s an excellent, household based mostly barbershop. He’s an important household man, an excellent enterprise man right here on the town. You’re all the time welcome there irrespective of who you’re.”
Hamp’s can also be a spot for dialogue between all walks of life.
“He cuts a number of of the cops’ hair, and also you’ll see anyone from an 80-year-old black man to an 80-year-old white man in there getting a haircut,” Newman stated. “Everyone’s welcome, and all of us have good conversations. Actually, I’d say when you had Daniel’s barbershop open and the folks out right here which might be making selections in life had been in a position to are available in and focus on these selections, they’d in all probability come out with rather a lot higher solutions. I believe he does an excellent job of doing that.”
Hampton’s principal want is to be a light-weight in the neighborhood.
“What’s so particular in right here, I can get a white cop from the nation to sit down in right here amongst, you recognize, this man is perhaps a gangster, this man is perhaps Hispanic and there’s totally different walks of life in right here,” Hampton stated. “That’s what we do. I’ve accomplished rather a lot so far as relations between races simply even proper right here. All of that stuff begins in a small little place, little conversations — that’s the way you hit racial relations.”
Hampton has come far prior to now decade. He’s now fortunately married, has three youngsters, operates a barbershop and by no means takes a second without any consideration.
“We’re blessed, not wealthy, however we’re blessed,” he stated. “Actually, that’s simply the gist of it. I turned one thing out of nothing once I had the chance to, and I jumped.”
— to www.news-herald.net