Crime

Lakewood Ranch man charged with assault after Walmart incident

MANATEE — A 23-year-old Lakewood Ranch man was arrested Sunday and charged with aggravated assault, felony petty theft, resisting detention in retail theft and fleeing from law enforcement, all stemming from an incident at the Walmart on Cortez Road.

According to a Bradenton Police Department arrest report, Joey Alan Hoflock, who lives in the 11400 block of Piedmont Park Crossing in Lakewood Ranch, was at the Walmart at 12:47 p.m. Sunday and, after a apparent shoplifting episode, was being detained by three loss prevention officers.

The arrest report states that Hoflock was trying to shoplift a $298 TV.

Police rushed to the scene after learning that Hoflock began fighting with the loss prevention officers and threatened to slash the three with a switchblade style knife he pulled out of his pocket, saying, “I’ll cut you all.”

Hoflock escaped and ran to his vehicle and began driving east on Cortez Road in a white Monte Carlo, the report states.

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office got involved and Hoflock led a deputy on a moderate to high speed chase from the west side to East Manatee where he drove onto Lakewood Ranch Boulevard heading south to University Parkway.

Police say Hoflock cut through parking lots to avoid traffic lights, crossed over one median, ran a red light and almost struck a vehicle.

Hoflock then merged on Interstate-75 and reached speeds of 105 mph, causing the officer to break off the pursuit, the report states.Hoflock was later apprehended and arrested.

Hoflock’s bond was set at $2,000. He was not listed as being in the Manatee County jail Monday.

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