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Man arrested after allegedly holding children hostage; previous gun charges were dropped

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

Duane Lee Williams, 23, was arrested yesterday after allegedly holding five children in a bedroom and telling a woman he was going to kill the children.

Williams was wanted on a warrant, and Alachua County Sheriff’s Office (ASO) received information that he was at an apartment with a woman and six children under the age of 17. Williams allegedly told the woman he was going to kill the children, causing her to flee the apartment with an infant.

A teen who remained in the apartment reportedly told deputies that Williams told her to be quiet and to move all the children into a bedroom. She reportedly said he made statements that scared the children, paced around the apartment, and told the kids to be quiet.

Post Miranda, Williams reportedly told deputies that he could hear ASO deputies telling him to come out and didn’t know what to do because he was afraid he would be shot. He reportedly said he picked up a child so deputies could not use force against him.

On April 1, Williams was arrested after allegedly stealing a gun from a woman, pointing it in her face, providing a false name to deputies, and fleeing. He posted $35,000 bail and was ordered to have no contact with the victim and not to return to Majestic Oaks. He was charged with grand theft of a firearm, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, providing false identification to law enforcement, and resisting arrest. All of the charges except resisting arrest were dropped on May 20.

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On May 21, deputies were called to Majestic Oaks, where a woman reported that Williams had pushed his way into her apartment and had broken a porcelain elephant over her head, causing injuries that reportedly required stitches. She reportedly told deputies that he also pushed her down and held his hand over her mouth so she couldn’t scream for help. Williams reportedly fled by jumping off a second-story balcony, ran into a random unlocked apartment, and jumped off that balcony. A warrant was issued for Williams’ arrest on June 6 in that case, with charges of burglary with battery, false imprisonment, burglary of an occupied dwelling, and resisting arrest. Bail was set at $260,000.

Another sworn complaint reports that on May 24, deputies were called to Majestic Oaks about a suspicious person standing outside an apartment door with a gun in his hand. The man fled but reportedly matched Williams’ description.

According to the First Appearance Order in the April 1 case, Williams had been in the area for about 2 weeks as of that date. He has three previous felony convictions in Marion County, including a five-year prison sentence for aggravated assault, possession of a weapon by a convicted delinquent, and fleeing. He was released from prison in October of 2021

Williams has been charged with false imprisonment of an adult, neglecting a child without great bodily harm, obstructing justice, and resisting arrest in the most recent case. He is being held on $260,000 bail in the May 21 case and $740,000 bail in the most recent case.

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. 

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