GPD: Man struggled with mom over purse

Mom planned to use money to pay his bond

Published: Friday, January 14, 2011 at 10:54 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 14, 2011 at 10:54 p.m.

A man suspected of having a drug problem was arrested Thursday after his mother said she was slightly hurt in a struggle over her purse.

According to the woman, her son has an out-of-control drug problem and was trying to get to the money she planned to use to pay his bondsmen for bailing him out of jail last month, according to the Gainesville Police Department.

Damian Cole Barnes, 32, of Gainesville, was arrested by Gainesville police on charges of robbery, possession of drug paraphernalia and taking contraband into the jail.

Police said Barnes and his mother got into an argument in the parking lot of a shopping center at 3720 NW 13st St. Thursday morning. The mother said she was angry because Barnes was using money she gave him for his bondsmen to buy drugs.

Barnes began trying to get his mother's purse away from her, according to the mother and Barnes' girlfriend, who witnessed the incident.

During the struggle, Barnes was able to pull an envelope from the purse and one of the mother's finger's was cut, police said. Barnes drove off but was arrested a short time later.

While Barnes was changing into a uniform at the jail, a jail employee noticed a hole cut into his underwear. Officials said they found a hypodermic needle inside the hole along with a crack pipe containing cocaine residue.

Barnes was free on bond in a Dec. 26 grand theft case. In an arrest report for Thursday's incident, police said Barnes had apparently not paid any of the money his mother had given him to his bondsmen.

According to the Florida Department of Corrections, Barnes has served two state prison terms. He was in prison from 1997 until 2002 for armed robbery and kidnapping and from 2005 until February 2010 for a burglary with battery conviction.

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