Florida Keys

Florida Keys police say road rage arrest turns up unlicensed AK-47 and pistol

Tyrell Demming
Tyrell Demming

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested a Homestead man after a reported road rage incident where he’s accused of slapping another motorist in the face and having two unlicensed firearms, including a loaded miniature AK-47 rifle, within arm’s reach in his car.

Tyrell Demming, 22, was booked on a felony charge of carrying concealed unlicensed firearms, and a misdemeanor battery charge. He was booked into Plantation Key jail on $30,000 bond Friday morning.

The other driver, Carlos Rodriguez, also of Homestead, told police that Demming used his purple Dodge Challenger to block Rodriguez’s vehicle from behind in a parking space at the Tom Thumb gas station at mile marker 98, around 7:30 a.m. Friday. Demming honked the horn and yelled obscenities, Rodriguez said.

Demming then walked to the driver’s side of Rodriguez’s vehicle, pulled up his shirt to display a pistol in his waistband and then slapped Rodriguez in the face, the victim related to deputies.

Demming left but was stopped by a deputy at the Chevron at mile marker 92. He told Lt. Corey Bryan that Rodriguez would not let him merge into southbound traffic near mile marker 99 and almost ran him off the road and into a tree.

According to the arrest report, Demming told Bryan that he did confront Rodriguez in the Tom Thumb parking lot. Demming claimed Rodriguez was the one who started the confrontation by taking off his shirt and running toward the Challenger. He denied ever showing Rodriguez a gun.

Demming said he slapped Rodriguez, but only after Rodriguez “jumped” at him, according to Deputy Benjamin Elmore’s report.

Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Jason Madnick watched security video from the Tom Thumb station, which showed Demming’s car pull up behind Rodriguez’s vehicle, blocking it. The two men were shown talking to each other through their driver-side windows, and then Demming gets out of his car and walks to Rodriguez’s window. Elmore’s report does not state whether the video shows Demming slap Rodriguez, but it does state that the video shows “Carlos’ head fly back as if he had been struck and then Tyrell gets in his car and leaves.”

“The camera angle doesn’t show the entire altercation and the firearm can’t be seen in the video,” Benjamin wrote in his report.

The other gun found in Demming’s car was a Smith & Wesson .40 caliber pistol, which has a black polymer frame similar to a Glock, which is what Rodriguez told deputies Demming displayed during the altercation.

The Draco AK-47 was loaded with a 30-round magazine. Demming told deputies he carries the guns in his car “because he travels a lot,” Benjamin wrote. Demming does not have a concealed weapons permit, and both weapons were kept in duffel bags in the car, according to Benjamin’s report.