Deputies: Deltona man attacked by neighbor swinging samurai sword

Jerald Phifer, 61, charged with aggravated assault with deadly weapon

DELTONA, Fla. – A 61-year-old man was arrested Monday in Volusia County on suspicion of attacking his neighbor with a samurai sword.

Jerald Phifer, 61, was still in jail Tuesday night after Volusia County deputies said he followed and attacked his neighbor, Marco Almeida, with a silver samurai katana.

Almeida told News 6 it began when he was checking his mail after work.

"I was in the truck sorting through my mail when he went like this 'bang' he hit it," Almeida said. "I put my mail down and he came back and I rolled the window and told him to have a good day and that's when he started yelling and screaming profanities. I put the car in drive and called 911."

Almeida stayed on the phone with 911 for nearly 20 minutes and kept driving around his block while Phifer followed.

"I kept a safe distance but he kept following me and he had a T-shirt on and he took off his shirt and he said he wants to fight and hurt me," Almeida said. "I didn't know if he was drunk or on drugs. It was scary."

He said he was scared not only for himself, but for his wife and three kids, which is why he didn't go home and kept driving.

"I didn't want him to come to my house, my family is here. He would come into my house and hurt somebody. I thought the best way is to keep him close so I can describe who this individual is," he said.

But about 14 minutes after it started, Almedia thought it was over. He said when they drove past Phifer's house, the people who lived with him pushed him back inside. Almeida thought they had controlled the situation. That was until the garage door opened.

"The next thing I know he opens the garage door and he comes after me," he said. "I thought, 'Is that a weapon?' I could not believe it!"

It was -- a silver samurai katana with a blue and gold handle, according to the incident report.

Neighbor Shaunta Williams saw it all.

"He was waving it up and down, [saying] 'Get out here. Get the (obscenity) out of our neighborhood. Get away we don't want you here,'" Williams said. "If that man was going to get out of his van he was going to use it. He would not have made it."

Williams, scared for her safety, called 911 too and within minutes deputies had finally arrived, finding both Phifer and the Samurai sword not far from where he ditched it.

Volusia County deputies arrested Phifer and charged with him aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill.

News 6 went by his home Tuesday, but those who live there didn't want to comment on what happened.

"It was very scary," Almeida said. "The worst part is I haven't done or said anything to this individual to come after me."