PD: Man dragged step-father with pickup truck after family fight

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Tyrus Ellis (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Tyrus Ellis (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Terence Ayers (Source: Glendale Police Department) Terence Ayers (Source: Glendale Police Department)

Investigators say a family fight over a pickup truck led to a man to drag his step-father to death behind that truck in a Glendale neighborhood.

It happened Friday afternoon in the neighborhood southwest of 51st Avenue and Union Hills Drive.

Officers arrested Tyrus Ellis, 30, over the weekend when he returned to the home and somebody there called 911.

“Tyrus did attempt to flee from officers but was taken into custody a short time later,” according to the Glendale Police Department.   

According to police, this all started when Ellis got into an argument with his step-father, Terrence Ayers, over the use of a truck belonging to Ellis’ brother.

According to court documents, Ellis was told not only that Ayers needed to use the truck to go to work, but also that his brother said Ellis was not permitted to drive it.

“The defendant became upset and punched his step-father in the face three to four times …,” according to Ellis’ court paperwork.

Police said Ellis then took the keys to the truck and started to drive away despite Ayers grabbing the steering wheel in an attempt to stop him.

According to the probable cause for arrest statement, Ellis sped “through the front yards of residences along” the street, swerving back and forth.

“The victim was being dragged by the defendant driving the truck,” that statement reads. “As the defendant turned southbound … the father victim was thrown from the truck and potentially run over by the truck.”

Ayers, 57, was badly injured but was able to tell police what happened before he died, according to court documents.

Police located the truck after Ellis abandoned it and fled to a hotel.

According to investigators, Ellis on Sunday returned to the home where he had lived with his parents for more than 10 years. Somebody there the called police to alert them, but Ellis was not willing to surrender.

“Once the defendant knew police were called, he barricaded himself in the master bedroom, blocking the door with furniture from the room,” according to court paperwork.

Police say Ellis broke through the ceiling and crawl to another part of the house and eventually made his way outside.

Officers later found him on the roof of another home in the neighborhood and took him into custody.

Police said Ellis made a statement about needing “to flee to California due to the incident” with his step-father.

Court paperwork also indicates a history of domestic violence involving Ellis and his parents, noting four cases between 2009 and 2015.

A judge set a cash-only appearance bond of $500,000.

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