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Man hits Melbourne Walmart customer in face with shovel, threatens others, police say

File photo.
File photo.

MELBOURNE, Fla. – A Palm Bay man faces multiple charges after police said he struck a Walmart customer in the face with a shovel that he also used to threaten other customers Thursday morning in the Melbourne store.

Craig Williams, 26, was charged with breach of peace disorderly conduct, battery, carrying a concealed weapon, carrying a weapon during a criminal offense and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to Florida Today.

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Williams entered the Walmart off Eau Gallie Boulevard at about 11 a.m. Thursday, shoved a shopping cart into a pallet of supplies a Walmart employee was pushing, then struck her in the shoulder and hand with his elbows before continuing further into the store, Melbourne police said.

Williams armed himself with a shovel as he walked through the store, police said. A manager told police he saw Williams swinging the shovel above his head and speaking in an unusual manner, which made him concerned for his employees and customers.

While the manager called 911, Williams beat the shovel against a plastic divider at the pharmacy and struck a customer in the face, according to the police report.

The manager tried to confront him, and Williams began swinging the shovel at him. The manager told police he backed away, and Williams continued toward the garden section, smashing the shovel against every sign he passed on his way.

When police arrived at Walmart and seized Williams, they found he was also carrying a kitchen knife in a sheath concealed inside the waistband of his pants. Police said they knew of no prior personal conflict between Williams and anyone in the store as a reason for his behavior.

Williams was released from police custody Friday and is awaiting trial July 6.