In the early morning hours Saturday, June 2, Historic City News learned that St Augustine police had been dispatched to an apartment at 107 Masters Drive to respond to a disturbance call.
Officers arrived about 1:03 a.m. and found three friends standing outside the apartments. Officer Alina Shirshikova interviewed the resident, her roommate, and a guest, later identified as victims.
Officer Justin Morrow arrived to assist in interviewing another resident who was sitting on the porch of her downstairs apartment; yelling and swinging her arms at the victims. The woman was identified as 55-year-old Lisa Earlene McGarah.
According to Officer Shirshikova, one of the victims, a 24-year-old female who lives in Jacksonville, told her that she came to the apartments to visit her two friends who live there.
- The victim, who is white, told police that McGarah, who is also white, is “very racist”. The victim went on to say that, especially when McGarah is intoxicated, she accuses everyone of “selling drugs”, and “possessing stolen property”, and she makes “racist comments”.
Earlier that night, the victim says there was a verbal argument with McGarah. She told her friends that she was leaving and proceeded to walk towards her vehicle in the parking lot.
When she did, she says McGarah came out of her apartment armed with a black handled knife about 12″ in length. The defendant started swinging the knife around, cursing, and ran towards the victim’s vehicle, then turned around and went back towards her apartment, and sat on the porch. The victim said she was afraid for her safety.
- One of the two victims who live in the upstairs apartment told police that McGarah lives beneath her and her roommate; with her adult son Mitch, who is blind. She went on to report that McGarah and her son came to her apartment and began banging on the door. She said McGarah became aggressive and tried to fight her. She locked her door, and McGarah began to throw things at it and curse at her. She concluded her statement saying that she saw the knife, but that McGarah did not come towards her with it. She said McGarah went towards their Jacksonville guest.
- The roommate made a statement that was somewhat different. She said that she heard McGarah and her son, Mitch, arguing and cursing inside their apartment Friday night about 6:00 p.m. Hours later, she says they started to argue again, and McGarah came outside with the knife. She reported that McGarah raised the knife and started to come at her and that she felt threatened.
Officer Morrow interviewed the defendant. During that time, McGarah denied threatening anyone, but did admit having a knife in her hand while sitting on her porch.
Although officers never recovered the knife, the victims and a witness stated the defendant placed it back into her residence before the police arrived. An attempt to contact Mitch was unsuccessful. He did not open the door for officers at the scene.
McGarah was placed under arrest for aggravated assault and transported to the St Johns County Jail. Upon arrival, the defendant submitted to a voluntary breath alcohol test which measured .206 BAC. McGarah remains in custody at this time in lieu of $15,000 bail.