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Rent money used for drugs leads to fight

Rent money used to buy pills – that weren’t shared – caused a domestic dispute at a Tabor City home March 4, but no one was injured or charged in the case.

The male suspect, however, was later arrested on unrelated charges.

Christopher Dewayne Gattis, 29, was taken into custody on a grand jury indictment for breaking and entering a motor vehicle, and larceny. He was placed under a $7,500 bond.

Police were called to the home just before 6 p.m. Gattis and the woman told the responding officer that they were “arguing over two pills” that they had purchased using money set aside for rent.  The female subject told the officer that the pills had been “bought on the street,” and when she found out what had happened, she demanded that  Gattis give her one. He refused, then allegedly attempted to remove the woman’s shoes and damaged her cellular phone, saying that he had paid for the items.

Gattis replaced the phone while officers were on the scene, the report said, and he told the officers that he had taken both pills “when he found out that officers were on their way.”

The woman went to stay with a relative for several days, the report said, leaving her four children, ages 6 through 11, in the care of the male subject.

The Department of Social Services was called to check on the children.

Gattis was also accused of stealing a wallet and $180 from his cousin, Ronnie Lee Tyler, earlier the same day. Tyler told Tabor City police that he fell asleep on a chair in his home, where Gattis was visiting, while Gattis was on the couch. When Tyler discovered the wallet was gone, he asked Gattis to help him look for it. At that point, the report said, Gattis allegedly struck Tyler on the neck and arms, and left the home.

The same day, Lt. Robert Mumblow was called to 301 Barry Street a short time after the alleged assault on Tyler.  Gattis met Mumblow at his patrol vehicle and asked if a warrant had been issued for his arrest, the report said.

Gattis told Mumblow that Tyler had come to the Barry Street address earlier in the day, forced his way through the door and grabbed Gattis by the shirt, pulling him outside. As Tyler was preparing to hit Gattis, the report said, Gattis struck first, and both men fell over a wooden fence. Tyler had previously told Mumblow that the fight occurred at Tyler’s home, the report said.

Both men were advised to speak to a magistrate.

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