DELAND, FL – A naked suspect who threw a machete at a surveyor and tried to rob him of his clothes was taken into custody at a DeLand gas station on Monday after approaching several passing vehicles.
According to authorities, Volusia Sheriff’s Deputies responded to an area across from the Volusia County Fairgrounds shortly before 10 a.m. Monday after the surveyor reported a naked man approached him while carrying a large machete-style knife.
The victim said the suspect was picking palmetto berries in the woods, but eventually came running out of the brush brandishing the machete and demanding his clothes, wallet and phone.
As the victim began to comply with the demands, he said the suspect hurled the machete at him along with a handful of palmetto berries. The handle of the machete bounced off the victim’s chest, and he wasn’t injured.
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The suspect took off into the brush and got into a white Dodge Challenger. Meanwhile, a responding deputy recognized the circumstances and suspect description were similar to an August 2021 call involving Brandon Wright running around naked in the same area.
Minutes later, Wright’s vehicle passed a license plate reader in the DeLand area, and soon after that it was reported that a naked man was outside a gas station at 899 S. Spring Garden Avenue, in DeLand.
A Volusia Sheriff’s helicopter spotted Wright from overhead and gave updates on his location until DeLand police officers arrived on scene. Wright laid down in the parking lot for the officers and was taken 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 and transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail, where he was in custody without bond. His prior convictions include kidnapping/false imprisonment in 2009, possession of cocaine in 2013 and 2018, possession of a firearm/ammunition by a convicted felon and battery on a law enforcement officer in 2018 and resisting an officer without violence in 2021.