Local News

Crime briefs

SO: Burglary suspect caught in the act as residents hold door shut

SEBRING-A 42-year-old Sebring man, who authorities say was in the middle of breaking into a house when a sheriff's deputy arrived, did not stop trying to ram open the front door until he was tasered, a Highlands County Sheriff's Office report states.

A Highlands County Sheriff's Office deputy saw Don Earle Morgan Sunday night trying to burst through the door by ramming it open with his shoulder while the residents inside were trying to hold the door shut, the report adds.

Morgan, 5110 Roanoke St., Sebring, is charged with one count of misdemeanor property damage and burglary with assault or battery, a felony.

He remained in Highlands County Jail as of Monday afternoon with bail set at $15,5000.

The homeowner told authorities he heard a banging noise on his window and opened the front door to see Morgan, who he said he does not know, standing inside the screened porch, the report states.

The residents tried to keep the door closed, and one of them fell backward, cutting her right arm, when the door flexed inward while Morgan slammed into it, the report states.

Icecream spat lands woman in jail, police say

SEBRING-An argument over who ate the last ice cream in a home reportedly landed a 47-year-old woman in Highlands County Jail, authorities said.

Tovia Michelle Mathis brandished an 8-inch knife Saturday and put it to the victim's neck during the altercation, a Sebring Police Department report states.

A witness told police she thinks Mathis wanted to hurt the victim, the report states.

Mathis also chased the victim with the knife inside the home before falling to the floor, the report adds. That's when a second witness took the knife away, the report states, but Mathis "continued with her actions" outside the home, grabbing on the victim's shirt before falling to the concrete because she was intoxicated, police said.

Mathis was charged with aggravated assault with deadly weapon without intent to kill and battery touch or strike.

Man charged with aggravated assault

SEBRING -A 37-year-old man was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill reportedly for threatening his live-in girlfriend's son, according to a Highlands County Sheriff's Office report.

The victim told authorities that Javon Shondell Dukes told him if he didn't leave the home, he would shoot him, the report states, and then raised his shirt to reveal a Glock holstered on his right hip, the report adds.

The victim ran away from the home in fear, the report states.

When authorities questioned, Dukes "became enraged, clenching his right hand into a fist," and struck his left hand with his right fist "in an aggressive manner," the deputy wrote in a report.

He was handcuffed for the deputy's safety, the report adds.