Charged With Assault, Thomas Merrill, 69, Denies Threatening a Woman With a Gun
FlaglerLive | November 5, 2013
Early this morning—at close to 4 a.m.—Thomas R. Merrill, a 69-year-old resident of Beaverdam Lane in Palm Coast, was booked at the Flagler County jail on an assault charge after getting in an alleged altercation with a woman who was living with him. He has since been released on his own recognizance.
It wouldn’t have been particularly significant but for two facts: he is the father of William Carson Merrill, the man sentenced to 25 years in prison for accidentally shooting and killing his wife in Palm Coast early last year. And the allegation that led to his arrest is that Thomas Merrill pointed a handgun at the woman–Pamela Dasila–“and verbally threatened to kill her,” according to a police report.
Merrill said in a brief interview this afternoon that “actually, nothing took place, she lied about every bit of that.” He said Dasila had moved out today. “I let her live here for five months,” he said. His arrest report specifies that “both deny dating each other or having an intimate relationship.”
The incident took place after 2 this morning, when a neighbor called 911 on behalf of Dasila, saying Dasila had been ringing his doorbell and saying that Merrill had pointed a firearm at her. When a Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy arrived at the scene, the deputy saw Merrill and the neighbor standing in the neighbor’s doorway. Dasila was in the house, speaking with the neighbor’s wife. She then ran out of the house and back to Merrill’s residence.
While speaking with Merill, a deputy reported, “I could detect a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage about him. Thomas stated that Pamela always calls 911 for the same thing and she’s a liar. Thomas further stated that he did not own any firearms.”
Dasila was “visibly upset,” crying and shaking as she spoke to a deputy, and was also intoxicated, according to the arrest report, but she refused medical attention. She told a deputy that Merril got upset with her because she refused his advances. That’s when she claims he became verbally abusive and pointed a black firearm at her.
Police did not recover a firearm, but based on the neighbor’s and Dasila’s statements, the deputy reported that Merrill “created a well-founded fear that imminent violence existed.”
Merrill was initially charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and held on a $10,000 bond. That charge was reduced to simple assault and the bond eliminated, so he was released on his own recognizance. In the afternoon interview, Merrill said Dasila was the trouble-maker, not him, that she had substance abuse issues and was on probation. A check of the state’s probationer database did not turn up her name. Nor has she been arrested in Flagler County previously.