Man arrested for allegedly threatening two women with large knife

Staff report

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Demarea Durrell Tyars, 29, was arrested yesterday and charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault, and obstructing justice after allegedly threatening two women with a knife and taking one woman’s phone to try to stop her from calling 911.

At about 8:20 p.m. last night, the two victims reportedly went to Tyars’ apartment to collect the belongings of a friend who used to live there. Everybody involved reportedly told the responding Gainesville Police Department officer that the victims had communicated with Tyars and his girlfriend by text to let them know they were coming to the apartment. When the victims arrived, one of them texted Tyars’ girlfriend to let her know they were there.

Tyars then reportedly came outside and into the parking lot, where the victims were sitting in their car. The victims told the officer that he was holding his waistband as he approached, as if he had a weapon. They said he threatened them, saying, “I will kill you, I got a Glock.” The victims said he pulled a large kitchen knife from his waistband, saying, “I will stab you.” One of the victims said she was going to call 911, and Tyars allegedly reached into the vehicle and took her phone. When the second victim took out her phone, Tyars reportedly threw the first victim’s phone back into the vehicle. The two victims then drove away to call 911 and wait for law enforcement.

The two victims reportedly said they were in fear for their lives and provided a description of the knife; the officer reported that their stories were detailed and consistent.

The officers interviewed Tyars’ girlfriend, who reportedly said she was not outside during the incident, then later said she was outside but walking the dog and did not see the incident. When an officer asked where the knife was, she reportedly responded, “Which knife? The pocket knife or the kitchen knife?” while holding her hands apart to approximate the length of the kitchen knife. An officer asked her to get the knife from the apartment, and when she told Tyars she was going to get the knife, he reportedly said, “There was no knife, so if they want a knife, grab a random knife.”

The officer reported that at first, Tyars’ girlfriend would not let officers into the apartment and came back with a steak knife. When an officer asked for the large kitchen knife described by the victims, she reportedly said there was no other knife, but she went back into the apartment to look for it. She later let an officer come inside the apartment but then asked him to leave and denied again that there was any large kitchen knife.

Post Miranda, Tyars reportedly said that the victims had sent a text to his girlfriend, asking her to come outside. He said he went outside to tell the women to leave or “something is going to happen.” When the officer asked him what he meant by that, he reportedly said the same thing again and said they were all going to fight. He reportedly said that the victims said they were going to get an AR-15 and then left, and that’s when he called the police. He denied ever having a knife or threatening to kill the victims, and he denied taking a phone.

Officers canvassed the area but did not find the knife.

Tyars has reportedly been in Alachua County for a month and has criminal convictions in Nevada that include burglary, violation of probation, and failure to appear at hearings. Judge Susan Miller-Jones set bail at $130,000.

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. 

  • A great addition for Alachua County. That girlfriend better get away from this loser or she will soon be a victim too.

  • The women need to get a bigger knife or one of them scatter guns

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