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Man accused of hitting pregnant former girlfriend as she gives birth

Several people sit outside UF Health Shands Emergency Room/Trauma Center. (Victoria Someillan/WUFT News)
Several people sit outside UF Health Shands Emergency Room/Trauma Center. (Victoria Someillan/WUFT News)

A young mother giving birth at a University of Florida hospital said in a new interview Tuesday she regrets that the baby's father — in jail on felony charges that he hit her in the chest in the delivery room and threatened a mass shooting at the hospital — missed their son's birth. She and her baby are now safe.

Tavarus Tyrell Smith, 26, of Gainesville remained in jail Tuesday, facing initial felony complaints of aggravated battery on a victim he knew was pregnant, two counts of assault on a medical worker and hindering someone trying to call 911. His bond was set at $100,000. If he were released from jail, a judge ordered Smith to stay away from his baby's mother, the two nurses he is accused of threatening and the UF Health Shands Hospital labor and delivery unit.

Smith was at the hospital with the woman, who was there to deliver their child Friday night, when the couple began arguing, the mother said. The delivery was going smoothly until that point, she said. As the argument escalated, she tried using her phone to record Smith when he struck her in the chest, police said.

The woman, who asked to remain unidentified, said Smith was loud and cursing at the hospital staff. In a video recorded by the woman, Smith – a convicted felon who she said is known to carry a pistol – can be heard saying “f--- the police” and “there’s gonna be a mass shooting up in this b----.”

In her interview Tuesday, she said she recorded Smith for her and her child’s safety, not to get Smith in trouble. She asked for Smith to be escorted out but wishes Smith could have been in the delivery room with her, she said. They are no longer in a relationship, she said.

“I never recorded to try to get him in trouble or to make him look like a bad guy,” she said. “Like I said, he's a good person.”

She tried to call 911, but Smith took the phone and threw it on the ground before she could, she told police.

When hospital security arrived to escort Smith out of the hospital, he threatened to shoot himself, security and the rest of the staff present, according to police. Two hospital employees told police they feared his threats and wanted criminal charges filed against him.

The employees told police they saw Smith throw a maternity pillow at the floor before threatening a mass shooting.

Police hours later pulled Smith over during a traffic stop and arrested him in the assault at the hospital involving his pregnant former girlfriend.

Police said he replied, “But there was no bruising.”


This is a breaking news story. Check back for further developments. Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing

Alissa is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing