PENSACOLA, Fla. — A Florida man is accused of using pepper spray on a deputy and employees at a Walmart store while attempting to flee after allegedly making a fraudulent return, authorities said Monday.
According to a news release from the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, Stephen Blaine, of Milton, was charged with dealing in stolen property, larceny, resisting officer, and battery on a law enforcement officer.
According to the sheriff’s office, Blaine was leaving the store in Pensacola after attempting to make a fraudulent return, WEAR-TV reported. He was confronted by loss prevention employees at around 12 p.m. CST.
“Blaine tried to pepper spray them and took off through the parking lot,” the sheriff’s office said in its release.
Trae Walsingham, an off-duty deputy working security at the store, then chased Blaine through the parking lot after the suspected attempted to use pepper spray on the law enforcement agent, the sheriff’s office said.
Walsingham’s body camera captured the chase in the parking lot, with the deputy and two Walmart employees subduing Blaine.
After being handcuffed, Blaine received medical care before he was arrested and booked into the Escambia County Jail, WEAR reported.
Bail was set at $68,500, online records show.
“If you pepper spray a deputy while resisting arrest, you should expect us to use force to protect ourselves and make the arrest, because we certainly will,” Sheriff Chip W. Simmons said in a statement.