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68-Year-Old Man Jokes About Tossing Grenade at Walmart Employees, Faces 2nd Degree Felony

| September 5, 2018

william rudd walmart grenade

William Rudd.

William Rudd, a 68-year-old resident of Peppercorn Lane in Palm Coast, was arrested this morning after joking about throwing a grenade at several Walmart employees, then heading for the bathroom. He faces a second-degree felony charge.


The arrest is similar to a spate of arrests that have affected students in Flagler County schools who have made jokes about weaponry in school. The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies have heightened their attention–and the severity of their crackdown over such incidents–since last February’s massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida.

According to the 911 dispatch center’s notes and surveillance camera footage of the incident, Rudd walked into Walmart just after 9 a.m. A caller to 911 reported him walking up to people and telling them he had a hand-grenade, though no one had seen an actual grenade and much of what was being reported to the dispatcher was hurried speculation. The man quickly disappeared in the bathroom.

Sheriff’s deputies swarmed onto the store and briefly closed all access to it as rescue units took up positions at Sonny’s, the restaurant nearby. Walmart management declined to evacuate the store, as deputies had recommended, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The man by then had walked out of the bathroom and had ambled to various aisles. By 9:18, he’d been apprehended.

“The subject does engage three employees as he enters the store, and he appears to be making two throwing motions with his hands and then throws both of them up in the air,” a deputy reported after watching surveillance camera footage. A sheriff’s release specified that Rudd had been telling the Walmart employees that “they were standing so close together that if he threw a grenade he could blow them all up and then began laughing loudly and entered the public restroom.”

“They did everything by the book and turned people away from entering the store without causing a panic,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “We do not take threats lightly in Flagler County. Obviously, Rudd made a very poor decision by threatening the safety of Walmart patrons and employees and he was promptly arrested.” He faces a charge of threatening to discharge a destructive device.

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18 Responses for “68-Year-Old Man Jokes About Tossing Grenade at Walmart Employees, Faces 2nd Degree Felony”

  1. woodchuck says:

    My boss would make that joke all the time meaning get back to work and stop yapping with multiple workers.But those were different times.

  2. Johnny from Golden Corral says:

    This Walmart is the crappiest I’ve ever been to, and the management is poorly trained to handle any grievances let alone a recommended evacuation of the store. All they care about is the mighty dollar, people’s safety is somewhere near the bottom of their priorities.. And grenades are no joking matter.

  3. HonkeyDude says:

    U got to be kidding me. That is one of the oldest saying in the book. People live in such fear, that others are not aloud to live. Let me guess… If he had said he had to go lob some grenades before he went into fhe bathroom he would have been arrested also. What a joke… I hope they start arresting people for being ignorant

  4. Okay says:

    This is ridiculous. What’s next, the thought police? When I was younger, we used to say to our friends, “I’m so mad I could k**l you.” You can’t say that today and I wasn’t a kid that long ago. Words are sometimes just words. I dread the day when words will no longer exist without pre-approval.

  5. sensitive sam says:

    Come on’ that’s a corny old school phrase like when a person that should be working is mulling or standing around and someones says “what are you holding the wall up?” One or two officers should have talked to him without all this whoopla. Maybe I should have made a stink when years ago when working night shift at Walmart a Flagler County deputy in uniform was showing off his upholstered gun to another worker he was familiar with inadvertently pointing it directly at me for about ten seconds at close range while he explained its function. He scared himself more than he scared me when he realized what he was doing

  6. Richard Truax says:

    I previously worked for Home Depot. Assistant managers often walked the store and upon finding a group of employees who were standing around talking would say something about injuring the group with one grenade. This was management’s way of telling employees to quit standing around and get to work. Back then it was a supervisory tool and now it’s perceived as a major threat.

    Although the man was wrong, the event has been blown out of proportion. We are all becoming snowflakes.

  7. Willy Boy says:

    Just a frustrated old white guy. Three Walmart employees huddled together while ignoring customers. Nothing new there.

  8. Brian says:

    Palm Coast….Florida’s Twilight Zone

  9. Gidget says:

    A second degree felony???? Oh please, the guy made a joke in poor taste. Stop wasting tax payers money and go after the drug dealers and drug users in Flagler County who are robbing people and counterfeiting and dealing in stolen property. You have deputies making racial slurs at the jail and you’re going to arrest a 68 year old man making fun of Walmart workers???? Palm Coast Walmart is a den of iniquity. Everyone makes fun of it. Oh wait does this old man have a bond??? It seems that all of the junkies, dealers, thieves and child molesters are all getting extremely low bonds since Judge Perkins has been here. I really do hope this guy has an extremely low bond as well because all he did was make a bad joke.

  10. Mythought says:

    Unfortunately, this is the crazy world we live in today.

  11. Richard says:

    Another Darwin Award winner living in Palm Coast! For some reason that city attracts really “special” people.

  12. bruce meyer says:

    thats an old joke. nobody likes jokes anymore…

  13. Laugh out Loud says:

    Wait…. so this man made a “joke” about a grenade and was arrested??? Let’s talk about this : I had a tenant who made threats to kill another tenant IN FRONT OF AN OFFICER. The officer said “unless she has a knife in her hand or the immediate capability to act on the threat, there’s nothing we can do”.

    Seriously, let this man go!! He probably said “I have to drop a grenade”, meaning he had to “poop”. Hence the bathroom.
    Get a life people, not everyone is out to create violence. 🙄. Release him!!!!

  14. RP says:

    Not so funny now is it.

    And yes you cant say anything anymore, it just might be taken as oh say, racist, chauvinistic , anti-semitism, or even as a terrorist threat.

    Cant even say FU anymore to someone without being charged with assault.
    Say anything along the lines of i could kill you etc. is now considered a threat or domestic violence.
    Hell even a wet willy is simple battery.

    Society has become sue happy and soft.

    Grow a pair – or guess by saying that its probably being chauvinistic. hahaha

  15. Buylocal says:

    A quick apology and a ride home will hopefully avoid a lawsuit .

    The Sheriff’s office should admit an obvious mistake.

  16. Agkistrodon says:

    Very old saying not unlike “don’t monkey things up” heard them both MANY times in the military. I was in our Walmart the other day, and there was a rather large group of employees in the front main aisle doing some exercises led by two people in animals suits……Now I had a team leader in the Army, that if he seen that would say, “You’re all so close together, Throw in one grenade, your’re all dead” Refers to huddling together in a group. I am all for people exercising but go outside, or to the back of the store, Don’t clog up the main aisle, so paying customers have to detour around your “work-out”. I’d bet the guy is prior military and his joke did not go well with civilians. Good bit of advice though.

  17. Just me says:

    All of you are assuming this was a joke now put yourself and Walmart and imagine if this man really did have a grenade or opened fire the world we live in today is a very sick world you have to takes things like this serious stop making light of everything if you or a loved one were in that store and something happened you would be singing a different song I hope you don’t teach your kids that this is okay because it’s not…

  18. hawkeye says:

    this is about as stupid as sending a kid home for chewing a pop tart into the shape of a gun

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