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Report: Man tried to behead stabbing victim at Burnt Store Marina

Edmond Clarke, 36, is held without bond after stabbing at a restaurant on Monday.
Posted at 4:14 PM, Sep 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-22 18:22:05-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — An attempted beheading in a knife attack on Monday night at a store at Burnt Store Marina led the Lee County Sheriff to call the crime “horrific”.

Edmond Clarke III, 36, of Punta Gorda is now charged with attempted second-degree and held without bond. Investigators say Clarke used a knife near the register at the Trading Post store at the marina and stabbed another man more than 40 times. The victim is still alive and is in a nearby hospital.

FOX4 obtained the incident report and learned the connections between Clarke and the man he is accused of stabbing and, later in the kitchen’s store, trying to behead.

The report offers a timeline, over three days, that led to the violence inside the convenience store.

Clarke had spent the previous six years working as a caregiver for an older man, even living with this man in Punta Gorda. Investigators say Clarke was in a Fort Myers hospital with “abdominal pain” and got released on Saturday, September 17. However, the report claims Clarke had accused another caregiver of poisoning Clarke’s food. This older man, whom Clarke was the caregiver for, told investigators later that he believed Clarke was hallucinating that day.

This man had called his son to fly to Florida from Chicago because Clarke was in the hospital again. On Monday, the man and his son picked Clarke up from the hospital and they drove to Burnt Store Marina to get food at the Trading Post restaurant.

Investigators say Clarke and the son walked into the Trading Post together and, about 15 to 20 minutes later, people ran out of the store. Surveillance video shows a man grabbing a knife near the counter before the version deputies made available stops just before the stabbing.

From the parking lot, the older man saw the commotion and stepped from his car into the restaurant, where he saw blood on the floor. The report said there was so much blood that the man was unable to recognize his own son.

A worker at the Trading Post told investigators Clarke dragged the stabbing victim into the kitchen, armed with a large bread knife, and “stabbed the victim with long, downward stabbing motions”. The report said Clarke was “making a sawing motion” with the knife and that Clarke was “very calm and emotionless” during the attack and Clarke appeared to not have any interest in harming anyone else.