Deputies responded to an area near the Volusia County Fairgrounds shortly before 10 a.m. after a surveyor reported that a naked man approached him with a large machete-style knife, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said.
The victim told deputies that the suspect was picking palmetto berries in the woods and ran out of the brush brandishing the machete and demanding his clothes, wallet and phone.
He said he began to give the items over to the suspect when the naked man hurled the machete and a handful of berries at him. Deputies said the handle of the machete hit the victim in the chest and he wasn’t injured.
The suspect fled into the wooded area and took off in a white Dodge Challenger, the sheriff’s office said.
A responding deputy realized the circumstances and suspect description were similar to another incident in August 2021 involving a man named Brandon Wright, who was found running naked in the same area, according to authorities.
Deputies soon received another report of a naked man outside a gas station in DeLand.
The sheriff’s office released aerial video showing a police helicopter spotting the man, whom authorities identified as Wright. The suspect is seen laying down on his stomach in the parking lot as officers took him into custody without incident.
Wright, 34, was charged with attempted robbery with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
He was being held at the Volusia County Branch Jail without bond.
His prior convictions dated back to 2009 and include kidnapping/false imprisonment, possession of cocaine, possession of a firearm/ammunition by a convicted felon and battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer without violence, the sheriff’s office said.