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Man sleeping at bus stop arrested for attacking business owner

Staff report

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Deaker Johnson Sterling V, 39, was arrested yesterday morning and charged with battery on a person over the age of 65.

Sterling was reportedly sleeping at a bus stop outside Gainesville Health and Fitness Center (4820 Newberry Road) when the owner of a nearby business approached him and told him he was not allowed to sleep at the bus stop. Sterling allegedly became hostile and moved aggressively toward the victim. The victim reportedly backed away, but Sterling allegedly punched him repeatedly in the face. Both Sterling and the victim fell to the ground, where Sterling allegedly continued punching the victim. Sterling then fled on foot.

The victim, who is 70 years old, reportedly had a bloody nose and several swollen areas on his face, including the area around one eye and his mouth.

Sterling was reportedly found by a Gainesville Police Department officer in a nearby apartment complex, and he denied in a consensual interview that he punched the victim. Post Miranda, he declined to answer any questions. The arresting officer reported that Sterling had abrasions on his knees.

A witness reportedly identified Sterling as the primary aggressor in the altercation, and the victim positively identified him as the person who attacked him.

Sterling’s address is listed as St. Francis House (413 S. Main St.) on his arrest report, but court documents indicate that he said he lives in Live Oak and has only been in Alachua County for one day. He has 15 misdemeanor convictions (three violent) and has two active out-of-state warrants; five of the misdemeanor convictions were for incidents in Alachua County since 2020. Senior Judge Aymer “Buck” Curtin ordered him held on $15,000 bail.

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. 

  • Another Ambassador has made his way to Gainesville. Live Oak didnt need his talents anymore. Hopefully the victim will recover quickly.

  • From Live Oak to Gainesville. Homeless sure are coming out of the woodwork to get to Gainesville.
    Hope all the liberal lemmings are happy with those they’ve elected.
    One can’t help but wonder if their constituency is happy with the crimes they’re partially responsible for inviting to the area.

  • Three violent convictions? Because Saint Francis keeps families as safe as they can through a blue card program I’m certain he lied.

    • I am sure you are right. They do allow general mail delivery for transients that do not live there. I met an older , handicapped gentleman who uses a hollow cane to walk filled from bottom to top with quarters . He is a war veteran & I pity any fool that effs with him.

    • “Sterling was reportedly sleeping at a bus stop outside Gainesville Health and Fitness Center (4820 Newberry Road) when the owner of a nearby business approached him and told him he was not allowed to sleep at the bus stop.” Didn’t say it was a GHFC guy.

      • Bet “owner of a nearby business” guy stays in his lane from now on.

  • Wait, he has TWO active out-of-state warrants but he gets bail? Why don’t they hold on to him so he can be sent back to the other state?

    • Many times the other state won’t pay to bring him back. So we get stuck with him

      • I’m ok with the system using my tax dollars to send him out of Alachua county with a one way ticket so he can be prosecuted where he has those out of state warrants….good riddance‼️

  • That is a cushy bus stop to sleep and hang out at. Might need gape guards there to keep those from snoozing.

  • David Arreola and Poe Poe’s decisions continue to haunt Gainesville. What rock are they hiding under now?

  • This thug has committed either a 2nd or first degree felony by committing aggravated battery on a person over 65 years of age. This crime is punishable by up 15 to 30 years in prison depending on the severity of the battery and any mitigating circumstances including injury to the victim.
    Let’s send a strong message to this low life and all who would resort to violent crimes because they think they won’t be punished due to the left’s lenient progressive attitudes towards crime.
    No plea bargaining down to a misdemeanor and a slap on the wrist for this miscreant!!!! Hard prison time is definitely warranted.

  • I know this person. This individual has a severe head injury… And is in need of mental health intervention and medical attention. He has limited family and no resources…seemingly he found refuge on a bench only to be told to leave. sometimes for those that are suffering that have no … means I’m sure his mind was in fight or flight mode. No excuses for bad behavior or violence! However, when you’re off of your medication and coping with a massive head injury… I’m sure there was no viable thoughts happening before this incident. He was once a sane man with children and a family. Sad case. But I don’t mind paying my tax dollars to have him get a free meal and sit in AC… Because reality is our governments making us pay for six dollar bottles of ketchup at this point. SMH

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