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Florida woman accused of pepper-spraying, swinging knife at Walmart security arrested

The 24-year-old got away but was caught more than two weeks later.
Credit: Highlands County Sherrif's Office

AVON PARK, Fla. — A Highlands County woman was arrested Tuesday after being accused of spraying Walmart security with pepper-spray and charging them with a knife after they caught her shoplifting on Sept. 29.

According to a police report, Doranda Jo Ussery, 24, spent two hours walking around an Avon Park Walmart before paying for only some of the items she had at a self-checkout register. 

Loss security reminded her to pay for a backpack and some sunglasses, and she said she didn't want the glasses anymore and the backpack belonged to her boyfriend. 

When she left the store, the security alarms went off and security asked her to come back in but she ran, dropping several cards with her name on them in the process. Security grabbed them and told her they now had her ID, so she followed them back into the store, according to Lake Wales Police. 

The report says that once in the loss prevention office, Ussery said she'd return the nearly $360 of stolen items and asked them not to call the police, saying she was already on probation and has two kids. 

Loss prevention continued their paperwork, according to the police report, but hadn't called law enforcement yet. That's when Ussery took the pepper spray out of her purse and sprayed the security guard and two other employees that were in the room. 

When they tried to stop her she said, "I have a knife," according to police. She motioned to the knife which had a 3 to 4-inch blade toward the loss prevention associates, then lifted the knife over their heads while charging them, according to a Lake Wales police video.

Ussery ran out of the store and was able to get away in a red Chevrolet Cruz. 

Lake Wales Police were able to get the tag number and worked with Highlands County Sheriff's Office and Lakeland police to track Ussery down over two weeks later at the Imperial Swan Hotel in Lakeland. 

According to Lake Wales Police, Ussery initially barricaded herself in her hotel room, but eventually came out and gave a full confession. 

She was taken to Polk County jail on a warrant for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, grand theft, and battery. 

Ussery has a criminal history including burglary, grand theft auto, resisting an officer without violence, giving false identification to law enforcement, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

RELATED: Florida woman climbs into Big Lots ceiling to avoid shoplifting charge, police say

RELATED: She stole $358 worth of property at Walmart, police say. She then pepper sprayed staff and ran off

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