An Ada man who told sheriff’s deputies he was in “survival mode” Sunday was arrested after a deputy found him walking away from a disturbance with a knife in each hand.

Donald Gene Gaither, 49, was arraigned Monday on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and possession of an offensive weapon, both stemming from an incident that occurred Sunday at County Hills Trailer Park.

Pontotoc County sheriff’s deputies were called to an address in the 16500 block of County Road 1526 Court by an individual who claimed Gaither was “swinging a knife” outside a lot in the trailer park. Deputies arrived to find Gaither walking away from the lot with a knife in each hand.

Deputies said Gaither picked up his pace and attempted to hide the knives as he noticed their arrival.

Deputy Kevin Wood said he ordered Gaither to drop the knives and get on the ground, then placed him in handcuffs and began to search him. Wood said the search revealed two more knives on Gaither’s belt and a large weight attached to a lanyard designed “to use as a weapon to swing at someone.”

Wood said Gaither told him he was “very mad” and that he had “gotten into it” with the individual who called them to the trailer park. Wood said he noticed a bulge in Gaither’s shirt and, upon closer inspection, discovered Gaither had taped a number of adult magazines to his midsection as a sort of makeshift body armor. Wood said Gaither told him he had “been to prison and (knew) what to do to protect himself.”

Wood said the caller told them he has had an ongoing problem with Gaither, who he said blames him for getting Gaither “kicked out of the trailer park,” and that Gaither was “outside with a knife in each hand telling (him) to come out and get some” when he called the police.

Gaither was arrested at the scene and taken to the Pontotoc County Justice Center, where he was photographed wearing the makeshift body armor before it was removed and stored as evidence.

Contact Carl Lewis at (580) 310-7520, or by email at

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Carl Lewis was the editor of The Ada News from 2018 to 2020.

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