A 75-year-old man was arrested on aggravated assault and cocaine possession Monday after being accused of threatening a garbage truck operator with a knife and trying to retrieve an imaginary girlfriend.
At about 8:30 a.m., a WCA Waste Corporation truck was making rounds in the Linton Oaks apartment complex when a man armed with a kitchen knife stood in front of the vehicle and ordered its driver to get out. The knife-wielding man, identified by sheriff’s deputies as Walter Welch, also told the driver he believed his girlfriend was in the truck and tried to climb inside the cab, according to a jail booking report.
The driver ignored Welch’s orders and went on his way. Welch returned with a can of pepper spray and emptied its contents into an air intake on the vehicle, the report states.
The driver summoned the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, and deputies went to Welch’s home. There they found what they believed was crack cocaine sitting on a coffee table, along with a bottle that had been modified to smoke the drug, the report states.
The garbage truck required $100 worth of cleaning due to the pepper spray.
Welch was arrested on charges of aggravated assault, property damage, burglary, possession of cocaine and possession of drug equipment. As of Tuesday morning, he remained in the Alachua County jail in lieu of a $55,000 bond.
Alachua County court records show Welch was arrested in March on suspicion of possession of cocaine. He also faced a drug possession charge in 2013, but successfully completed a pretrial intervention program.