Lakeland, Florida -Jason Bohannan, 29, wasout shopping for fishing gear with his 14-year-old stepson last Saturday when he witnessed something that caused him to jump out of his car and risk his life for his community.
It happened at a busyLakeland Walmart store at 3501 South Florida Avenue.He says, "If you can come here on a Friday or a Saturday night, you'll drive up and down these aisle's to get a parking place."
Bohannan says there were hundreds of people at the store. They were leavingafter buying some fishing gear, and after an odd encounter with a man in the checkout lane.He says, "He basically started mumbling things about fishing and I told my stepson, 'Don't even say nothing. Let's just get out here.'"
Bohannan and his son left andso did the man, who was talking to them. Lakeland police say that man was 61-year-old Michael Baggett. Detectives say Baggettwalked out of the store withoutpaying for items he'd picked up in the store. They say he hada fishing reel and hooks, a headlight, and some computer equipment.
Bohannanwas in his car leaving the parking lot, he says, when henoticed something. "I looked up at the front of the store and seen him scuffling with security and he pushed one of them down. He then pushed another lady down."
Buthe says he wasn't going to get involved until he says he sawBaggett punch an elderlyfemale clerk.
Bohannan says, pointing to his jaw, "He hit her in the face. She went down to the ground and he just kicked the buggy over and came running through the parking lot."
Bohannan bailed out of his car andleft his stepson behind to chase Baggett behind a row of businesses. He says Baggett started scaling fences and ran behind a retention pond."
Bohannan sayshe wasn't really scared either. "It feels good to be on the other side of the law."
He knowsall about stealing. He's a convicted felon whoserved 11 years in prison for theft before being released eight months ago.
His pastor says he's worked hard to turn his life around andholds down a full-time job while beingactive at church.
Assistant Pastor Mark Bedwell says, "That's Jason. He'sjust got that, 'I'm going to do whatever it takes to help whoeverI can.' It's almost like he's catching up for those 11 years that he lost."
Thanks to Jason, Lakeland Police arrested Baggett, whowon't be fishing anytime soon. Detectives say besides the stolen items they recovered from him they alsofound drugs.