Homeless man arrested for loitering/prowling was convicted of the same offense a month ago


GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Dominique Demetri Merricks, 26, was arrested early this morning for loitering/prowling after officers responded to a report of a man pulling on car doors at The Retreat.

A Gainesville Police Department officer responded to The Retreat (1001 SW 17th Lane) at about 4:20 a.m. this morning after a caller reported that he saw a black male with long pants and a blue hoodie walking around the apartment complex, pulling on car doors. The officer noted that multiple car burglaries have been reported in the area over the past few weeks.

Three GPD officers responded and began searching the complex on foot. An officer saw a man, later identified as Merricks, running away from him, then found Merricks near the leasing office and detained him.

The officer reported that Merricks matched the description provided by the caller and had leaves and dirt in his hair, leading the officer to believe that he had been trying to hide in the bushes.

Post Miranda, Merricks reportedly admitted that he did not live in the apartment complex and did not know anyone who lived there; he said he was homeless and just passing through. He reportedly admitted jumping over the gate from the CVS parking lot into the apartment complex because it was “quicker than taking the main roads” but later admitted he was not walking toward a specific destination.

When the officer asked him why he ran from law enforcement, Merricks reportedly said he had been charged with loitering/prowling in the past and got scared.

Merricks was arrested for loitering/prowling in August 2022 in Gainesville and was convicted on February 27 after entering a plea of nolo contendere; he was sentenced to $351 in court costs and fees, and he has not paid any part of that yet. Merricks has one felony conviction for armed robbery in Columbia County and has served two prison sentences, with his most recent release in 2019. He has two active warrants out of Pennsylvania.

Judge Thomas Jaworski set bail at $20,000.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

  • Here’s the tally since Saturday:
    1. 3/25 Guy threatens everyone at Wawa.
    2. 3/26 Guy stabs a woman in face.
    3. 3/27 Guy steals a car.
    4. 3/28 Guy caught attempting to burglarize vehicles.

    The policies Poe implemented and Ward & Co. endorse are working really well aren’t they?

    They’ve got the liberal voters just the way they want them; dumb, dumber & naive.

    • Why has Grace Marketplace let this person down? It was supposed to end homelessness in 10 years. It was a bad idea Rodney.

    • Votes has nothing to do with crime….come see me and talk about it I work at circle k on waldo Rd

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