Naked Florida man with machete tried to rob man of clothes in Volusia, deputies say

Man struck victim in chest with knife, sheriff’s office says

Naked Florida man is seen on Volusia Sheriff's Helicopter camera approaching passing vehicles outside a DeLand gas station. (Volusia County Sheriff's Office)

DeLAND, Fla. – The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office arrested a naked man they say threw a machete at another man and demanded his clothes before running away and approaching several vehicles at a gas station.

The incident began Monday morning in an area near the Volusia County Fairgrounds.

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Deputies say the naked man was picking palmetto berries in the woods when he came running out with a machete. He then demanded the clothes, wallet and phone of a surveyor in the area, according to officials.

As the surveyor began to hand over his items, the victim told deputies that the man hurled the machete at him and ran away. Deputies say the surveyor was hit by the handle of the machete but was not seriously injured.

According to the sheriff’s office, the man, still naked, took off in a white Dodge Challenger. A sheriff’s office helicopter spotted him outside a gas station along South Spring Garden Avenue in DeLand, where he was seen approaching several passing vehicles, officials said.

DeLand police eventually took him into custody without incident.

The man was charged with attempted robbery with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He’s being held without bond.

Deputies said the man has a criminal history that includes convictions for kidnapping and false imprisonment, possession of cocaine and battery on a law enforcement officer.

News 6 has decided not to name the man after asking the sheriff’s office about his mental health and learning that he was detained under the state’s Baker Act in 2021. Online court records show another previous case also involved mental health concerns.

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Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.