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Leon Co. deputies deploy taser on man with hatchet following standoff outside grocery store

This screenshot from an eyewitness video shows law enforcement officers pointing weapons toward...
This screenshot from an eyewitness video shows law enforcement officers pointing weapons toward a man carrying a hatchet in front of a Publix.(Sonny Gwatney)
Published: May. 15, 2022 at 5:11 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A man is in custody following a brief standoff Sunday afternoon outside a Leon County business.

According to the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to reports of a theft in the 5300 Block of Capital Circle SW around 12:30 p.m.

Deputies were told the suspect stole from a vendor and showed a weapon. The suspect allegedly raised a hatchet toward the vendor when confronted. The suspect then left the scene.

Soon after, LCSO deputies found a man with the same description in a parking lot on the 5000 Block of Capital Circle SW. Witness video obtained by WCTV shows several law enforcement officers pointing weapons toward a man outside a Publix Grocery Store.

According to a press release, deputies commanded the suspect, 42-year-old John Rawls, to drop the weapon. Rawls eventually did so, but refused to move away from the weapon, according to deputies.

A deputy deployed his taser and after a “brief struggle,” the suspect was taken into custody and taken to the hospital for a check-up.

Rawls is charged with two counts of Aggravated Assault, Carrying a Concealed Weapon, and Resisting Arrest.

More charges could be coming, according to LCSO. TPD was also on scene.

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