DELAND, Fla. - A naked Florida man who was armed with a machete when he allegedly tried to steal another man's clothes was arrested Monday morning at a DeLand gas station, according to the Volusia Sheriff's Office.
Shortly before 10 a.m., deputies arrived to an area near the Volusia County Fairgrounds after a surveyor working in the area said the suspect – later identified as 34-year-old Brandon Wright – was picking palmetto berries in the woods, and suddenly approached him with a large machete-style knife and demanded his clothes, wallet and phone.
When the surveyor began to comply with Wright's demands, Wright reportedly threw the machete at him, along with a handful of palmetto berries, before taking off into the brush and then into a white Dodge Challenger. Deputies said the handle of the machete bounced off the surveyor's chest, leaving him uninjured.
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Moments later, Wright's vehicle passed a license plate reader in the DeLand area and soon after, law enforcement received a report of a naked man outside a gas station on S. Spring Garden Avenue in DeLand.
From a chopper, law enforcement spotted Wright from the air and gave updates on his location until DeLand police officers arrived.
"He is naked, yelling at people in the parking lot. Very animated," a person in the chopper could be heard saying on video as Wright walked around in the gas station's parking lot.
Chopper video showed Wright walking off from the gas station into nearby traffic. "He's now walking out to traffic, in the middle of traffic yelling at people," the person in the chopper is heard saying.
Wright later returned to the gas station, appearing to do push-ups at the entrance, before he laid on the ground for officers and was arrested.
Wright was taken to the Volusia County Branch Jail on charges of attempted robbery with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
In August 2021, Wright was involved in a similar incident where he ran around naked in the same area, according to VSO. He also has prior convictions including false imprisonment, possession of cocaine and battery on a law enforcement officer, deputies said.