Man 'missing' from Apalachee Center before Books-A-Million stabbing, court records say




  • In US
  • 2022-06-22 19:30:26Z
  • By Tallahassee Democrat

The man who police say stabbed a person inside Books-A-Million was missing from the Apalachee Center medical clinic prior to his arrest, according to court records.

Tallahassee Police Department officers were called to the scene of a stabbing at the book store around 1:42 p.m. and tracked the man, John McFarland, to Delaney Drive and Killearn Center Boulevard, an arrest affidavit said.

At gunpoint, police put handcuffs around his wrists and found a red kitchen knife in a red holder on his person, court records said. He also had a mesh glove in his pocket.

Soon, they connected McFarland, 41, to an "endangered missing person call" from the Apalachee Center.

Apalachee Center President and CEO Dr. Jay Reeve said he could not comment on the specific clinical details of the case because of federal privacy standards.

He did, however, say that those who leave the mental health facility without authorization are reported to law enforcement as a missing person as soon as possible.

"Apalachee Center is immensely grateful to the talented and dedicated officers of the Tallahassee Police Department for their rapid response to this situation, and join the rest of the community in our concern and prayers for the community member who was injured," Reeve said in a statement. "Apalachee also considers it very important to remember that the vast majority of mentally ill individuals are not violent towards others, as research has repeatedly shown"

Initial story: Tallahassee police make arrest after customer stabbed inside Books-A-Million

Soon after McFarland's arrest, police contacted the Books-A-Million manager who played investigators security camera footage.

The camera captured McFarland walk inside the store before approaching the victim - who was sitting with three people in the café area - and quickly stabbing him four times.

McFarland then ran out of the store and dropped the knife near the neighboring Publix supermarket, court records said.

The injured man, who did not know his attacker, was taken to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare with non-life-threatening injuries.

At least three witnesses positively identified McFarland as the man responsible for the attack, an affidavit said.

Contact Christopher Cann at ccann@tallahassee.com and follow @ChrisCannFL on Twitter.

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This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Man 'missing' from Apalachee Center before stabbing at Books-A-Million

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