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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Homeless man from Leesburg found sleeping on bench in The Villages

Derius Lashane Dabney
Derius Lashane Dabney

A homeless man from Leesburg was arrested Wednesday evening after police found him sleeping on a bench with narcotics in his pocket in The Villages.

Police responded to a report of a man, later identified as 29-year-old Derius Lashane Dabney, laying on a bench for three hours around Drake Drive and Kramer Court, according to an arrest report form the Fruitland Park Police Department.

Upon arrival in the area, the officer found Dabney asleep on a bench inside the gated community. Dabney advised that he was just “hanging out,” but that he stayed in Leesburg. He also stated he did not know anyone in the neighborhood. During this interaction, Dabney’s speech was slow and quiet, the report said.

The report noted that Dabney kept reaching towards his pants as the officer confirmed his identity through the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the report said. This behavior prompted the officer to ask Dabney if he had anything on him, to which he paused and advised he did not have any drugs on him. At the same time, he again reached for his pants.

For safety reasons, the officer conducted a pat-down of Dabney, the report said. He could plainly feel a round, circular object with a stem in Dabney’s right front pocket. The officer looked down and saw the end of the object sticking out, revealing a glass circular opening with a white crystalized substance around the rim. The officer believed this to be a pipe used for consuming illegal narcotics.

Based on this discovery, the officer conducted a probable cause search of Dabney. Inside his right-side pocket, three pebble-like crystalized white rocks were found. A field test of the pipe found during the pat-down and the rocks was positive for methamphetamine, the report said.

Dabney was then placed under arrest on charges of possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. He was transported to the Lake County Jail with bond set at $3,000.

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