A naked man accused of throwing a machete at a surveyor was caught after a deputy remembered a similar call about a man “running around naked” in the same area a year ago, Florida officials said.
Deputies responded at around 10 a.m. on Aug. 8 to an area across from the Volusia County Fairgrounds, where a surveyor said a naked man had approached him holding a “large machete-style knife,” according to a news release from the Volusia County Sheriff’s office.
The surveyor said the man had been picking palmetto berries in the woods when he came “running out of the brush brandishing the machete and demanding (the surveyor’s) clothes, wallet and phone,” the release says.
The surveyor started to give the man what he was asking for when suddenly, the man “hurled” the machete at him, along with some palmetto berries.
“The handle of the machete bounced off the victim’s chest, and he wasn’t injured,” the release says.
The Volusia County Fairgrounds are in DeLand, about 40 miles north of Orlando.
The man then ran back through the brush, jumped into a white Dodge Challenger and drove off, according to the sheriff’s office.
A deputy who was responding recalled a man with a similar description had been running around naked in the same area in August 2021. A vehicle with a license plate registered in that man’s name passed by a license plate reader in DeLand shortly after the machete-wielding suspect drove off.
A short while later, a naked man was reported outside a gas station in DeLand, about 8 miles west of the fairgrounds.
A sheriff’s office helicopter following overhead recorded video and gave deputies updates on the man’s location, the release says.
Video shows the white Dodge Challenger parked at the gas station with its trunk open and items including clothes and shoes strewn around the parking lot. A naked man can be seen walking through the parking lot and into traffic, shouting and gesturing at passing cars.
Deputies arrested the man and charged him with attempted robbery with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to the sheriff’s office. He was taken to the Volusia County Jail and is being held without bond.