Columbus Police have captured one of two men who allegedly pistol-whipped a man in a June 25 home invasion at Brittwood Apartments.
Deon Tesfi Davis, the 21-year-old suspect, appeared in Recorder’s Court and pleaded not guilty to one count each of first-degree home invasion, kidnapping, aggravated assault, armed robbery, first-degree burglary, false imprisonment and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
He was placed in the Muscogee County Jail after being denied bonds for multiple charges. The cases were bound over to Superior Court.
Police said the 22-year-old victim was in his 2444 West Britt David Road home with one-month old twins when two armed black men invaded his home around 10:15 p.m. Wearing all black clothing, the masked gunmen demanded money and property, Columbus Police Sgt. Lance Deaton testified.
“They held him at gunpoint and restricted his movement, preventing him from leaving the apartment” Deaton said. “They actually, at gunpoint, physically moved him from place to place throughout the apartment.”
The men also pistol-whipped the man in the head and back while he was carrying one of the children. The attack caused redness to the left side of the victim’s back, but the children were not harmed, according to a report.
The offenders stole property totaling $1,558 from the man's residence and his person. The gunmen then fled the scene in a black 90s model BMW 3 Series convertible located near the home, Deaton added.
The victim called police to the scene immediately after the incident. He told officials that one suspect was a muscular 6-foot-2 man, and the other was a skinny 5-foot-7 man.
Deaton said he viewed surveillance footage that showed the outside of apartment complex over the course of multiple nights, including June 25. The detective said he spotted the BMW that witnesses identified as the get-away car and learned that it was registered to the defendant’s father.
The vehicle was also seen pulling up to the apartment complex twice on June 25, Deaton added.
“The victim informed me that he had a friend who had brought over a male subject by the name of Deon, and that subject owned a black BMW convertible that matched the vehicle that the witnesses had seen that night after the robbery.”
The victim’s girlfriend told police that she left the apartment prior to the home invasion. She went to get food to bring back to the apartment, Deaton testified. As she was pulling out of the driveway, two black males approached her and asked for a cigarette, the detective said.
“She thought that was a little bit odd,” Deaton told the court. “She said she didn’t have a cigarette and continued on.”
A mutual friend between Davis and victim told the couple that Davis was one of the men responsible for the attack. The couple found Davis’ pictures on social media, and they determined that he was the 5-foot-7 tall man who invaded the home and asked the girlfriend for a cigarette prior to the incident.
Deaton said the couple informed him about the new information, and he issued Davis a warrant charging him with first-degree home invasion.
On July 15, a patrol officer spotted Davis and another man traveling in the BMW at the intersection of West Britt David Road and Veterans Parkway. Aware of the case, the official performed a traffic stop on the vehicle.
The officer was granted permission to search the vehicle and found ski masks in the trunk that were similar to the ones both home invaders were wearing during the June 25 incident.
Davis was arrested and transported to the Muscogee County Jail. Police did not apprehend the passenger, because they do not consider him a suspect in the home invasion.
Davis was incarcerated and awaiting his preliminary hearing when he requested that Deaton visit him at the jail, so he could speak about the case.
When Deaton met with the suspect, Davis denied ever being at the apartment complex. The detective showed him a surveillance photo of the BMW at the apartment, and he admitted that it was his vehicle.
Davis also told police that he doesn't allow anyone else to drive his vehicle, because it is registered in his father's name.
"The information he gave us didn't make any sense whatsoever," Deaton said. "It's just not possible, because I know his car was at the complex."
After speaking with the suspect at the jail, Deaton charged him with kidnapping, aggravated assault, armed robbery, first-degree burglary, false imprisonment and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
When given a chance to testify, Davis questioned how anyone could have identified him as the offender if the home invaders were wearing masks.
Police have not named or located any other suspects in the case, Deaton said.