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The Villages
Monday, July 26, 2021

Wal-Mart shoppers help cops catch Lady Lake man who had to be tasered

Joshua Atkins

Wal-Mart shoppers helped police apprehend a Lady Lake man who had to be tasered as he attempted to run from officers.

A police officer had been watching a red Jeep in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart in Leesburg and saw the Jeep back into a parked vehicle, according to an arrest report from the Fruitland Park Police Department. The officer stopped the Jeep and summoned a K-9 unit from the Leesburg Police Department. The dog alerted on the vehicle.

One of the passengers was identified as 29-year-old Joshua Atkins who was “shaking abnormally.” After Atkins was asked to empty his pockets he “placed a large quantity of cash” on the hood of the officer’s patrol vehicle.

“The money appeared to be broken up into small amounts for small transactions,” the officer wrote in the arrest report.

A search of the vehicle turned up a 9mm Smith & Wesson firearm, 14.6 grams of methamphetamine, 10 Alprazolam tablets, five amphetamine tablets, .4 grams of heroin, a digital scale and a clear glass pipe.

Atkins had been told to sit on the bumper of a patrol car, but he fled on foot.

“Multiple citizens attempted to slow his fight,” the report said.

Officers chased Atkins and took him down with a taser. He had been released earlier this year from a Florida prison after serving time on drug charges.

Atkins was booked on multiple charges at the Lake County Jail. Bond was set at $43,000.

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