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Man injured while tackling accused shoplifter

ORANGE PARK, Fla. – It was a tense situation at a Walmart in Clay County Wednesday night. Witnesses say a man attempted to tackle a shoplifter.

According to the Clay County inmate webpage Jerry Pifer, 31, was arrested at the Walmart store on Blanding Boulevard, but not before witnesses say he beat a man who tried to tackle him. Pifer is charged with felony battery, grant theft, burglary and resisting arrest.

Witnesses tell News4Jax that the man who attempted to tackle Pifer was trying to do the right thing. They said the would-be good Samaritan was injured so badly that part of the bone in his leg was sticking out.

Mariah Eddy says Christmas shopping got out of control.

"I was just scared because my first thought was what if he has a gun or a knife. I don't want anyone else to get hurt in that situation," Eddy said.

Eddy was in the checkout lane when she heard a commotion.

"We saw this guy rushing out and we were walking at the same time and all of a sudden we hear a bunch of commotion so we started walking fast to see what it was and we see a whole bunch of people jump on top of the guy that was trying to shoplift," Eddy said.

She says one man didn't get out unharmed.

"At first they couldn't' move him because he was a bigger fellow so they tried to get him on a stretcher and kind of rolled him onto the structure and it took the policeman and paramedics. They were trying to get the blood to stop and he was screaming in pain you could hear it from inside Walmart. It was agonizing pain you could tell," Eddy said.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office inmate log states Pifer was arrested at the Walmart around the same time. Eddy says she couldn't believe something like this was happening around the holidays and hopes the good Samaritan is ok.

"I hope he has a good Christmas. I hope he's not in the hospital in a bad mood. I just hope he gets better and he can walk because I don't know exactly what happened to him. But, I hope he's able to walk," Eddy said.

Because of the holiday the Clay County Sheriff's Office was unable to release an official report.