TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Tampa football coach is accused of inappropriate contact with three teenage football players from the Tampa Youth Football League.
A three-month investigation that began in December revealed the startling allegations against Davarius Durham, 27, of Tampa.
Tampa Police Department detectives say Durham used the KIK messenger app to send messages to one 15-year-old victim telling him he’d give him $70 in exchange for a picture of his private parts.
Durham was the victim’s football coach through the Tampa Bay Youth Football League. The teen didn’t send any photos.
“I knew him,” one of Durham’s former neighbors said. The neighbor requested News Channel 8 not reveal her identity.
She said she saw football players at the suspect’s house.
“The little boys seemed like they were happy. They wanted to be over here and hang out with the coach. That’s what I saw,” the neighbor said.
A Tampa park department employee contacted his supervisor and notified him about potential illegal activity, which initiated the investigation. Detectives say the investigation led them to two additional victims.
The three victims did not meet the suspect through City of Tampa programs, according to investigators. The suspect coached the three victims in football.
“You don’t wish this on anyone,” said Scott Levinson, president of the Tampa Bay Youth Football League.
He’s sorry for the kids and parents involved in these incidents. He’s also angry Durham would take advantage of his position as a coach.
“And it’s hard for me to believe that a man who spent so much time working with children, that it just happened in December,” Levinson said.
Levinson wanted to make sure parents know that the league goes to great lengths to make sure the kids are safe. Both the league and the city do extensive criminal background checks, which turned up nothing.
Police say Durham fled Tampa on April 6. U.S. Marshals arrested him at a family member’s home in Miami Gardens. He was transported back to Tampa and booked into the Hillsborough County Jail Thursday night.
Investigators say they do not know if there are additional victims. It is an ongoing investigation, and detectives encourage anyone with information on any additional victims to contact the Tampa Police Department.
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