Deputies: St. Johns man arrested after scaring Walmart customers with knife

Lee Bailey facing multiple charges, including aggravated assault with weapon

St. Johns County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Lee Arnold Bailey
St. Johns County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Lee Arnold Bailey

ST. JOHNS, Fla. – St. Johns County deputies arrested a man at gunpoint after they said he caused chaos Tuesday morning at a Walmart store in St. Johns.

According to an arrest report, Lee Arnold Bailey, 37, of St. Johns, was holding a knife in his hands when he walked into the Walmart on State Road 13 North and began causing trouble. 

The report stated that Bailey continued holding the knife as he yelled and knocked items off shelves and tipped over shopping carts. 

Several people told deputies Bailey had left the store and was last seen walking down a sidewalk on S.R. 13 with a knife in his hand. 

A deputy noted in the report that he spotted Bailey holding what appeared to be a 6-inch knife and ordered Bailey to stop, but said Bailey ignored his command and started waving the knife around. 

According to the report, other deputies arrived on scene and ordered Bailey at gunpoint to surrender. The report said that’s when Bailey dropped the weapon and was taken into custody outside a Burger King restaurant on S.R. 13.

Deputies drove Bailey back to the Walmart, where a store manager told authorities that Bailey was seen walking down an aisle toward the cash register while waving around a knife. The manager also told authorities that he feared employees and customers might get hurt so he began getting them out of the store and away from Bailey.

The report stated that deputies looked at store surveillance video, which showed Bailey not only waving a knife, but also using the knife to knock items off the shelf and knocking over shopping carts. The video also showed between 15 and 20 customers running out of the store to get away from Bailey. 

Deputies then spoke to two other people who said they feared for their lives as a result of Bailey’s actions. 

Bailey now faces charges that include four counts of aggravated assault with a weapon, resisting an officer, possession of marijuana and possession drug paraphernalia 

He was booked into the St. Johns County jail, where he remained Wednesday afternoon on $11,500 bond, jail records show.

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