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A Citizen's Tip About a Home Break-In Combined with Quick Police Response Results in Two Arrests



A citizen’s tip combined with quick police response early Tuesday morning to a violent home break-in on Old Matthews Road resulted in the arrest of Nicholas Dears, 26, and convicted felon Demarrea Cotton, 19.

The men kicked in the side door of the home and went upstairs to the 69-year-old victim’s bedroom where Cotton struck the victim in the head with a handgun before both men took cash from the victim’s wallet.

North Precinct Officer Erik Schall arrived just before 6 a.m. and spotted Dears standing in the hallway. He then heard what sounded like a window breaking and ran to the other side of the house where he apprehended Cotton who had jumped out of the second story window and was attempting to jump a fence in the back yard. A nine-millimeter pistol, that had fallen from Cotton’s pants, was recovered. Officers then entered the residence where they took Dears into custody.

Cotton refused to speak with Detectives. Dears admitted he broke into the home but said he didn’t think the victim would be home. Cotton is charged with felon in possession of a weapon, gun possession in the commission of a felony, and especially aggravated burglary. He is being held in lieu of $80,000 bond. Dears is charged with especially aggravated burglary and is being held on $60,000 bond.

Cotton has a prior aggravated robbery conviction. Dears has been convicted of assault, resisting arrest, and domestic assault.


Nicholas Dears, 26

Demarrea Cotton, 19