Florida man allegedly whacks store employee with Bible on Easter

A Florida man was arrested after he allegedly assaulted a Walgreens store manager with a Bible on Easter Sunday.

Peter Owens, 35, was arrested and charged with felony battery after the incident that unfolded at a Walgreens store in Clearwater Beach on March 31, according to an arrest affidavit from the Clearwater Police Department.

According to the affidavit, Owens entered the Walgreens store just after 11:30 p.m. to purchase a pair of headphones when he got into a verbal altercation with a store employee over the merchandise.

The argument escalated after the employee got the store manager involved. Owens then allegedly smacked her in the face with a Bible after she asked him to leave the store.


Mugshot of Peter Owens

Peter Owens, 35, is accused of whacking a Walgreens store manager with a Bible on Easter Sunday. He was charged with felony battery.  (FOX 35/Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office)

Officials also said that this was not Owens’ first run-in with the law. He has one prior conviction for battery and was convicted on that charge in March 2020, according to the affidavit. 

Police were able to locate Owens shortly after and take him into custody. He told police that he hit the store manager with his Bible because “she was being rude to him,” the affidavit said, adding that “he did not mean to hit her.” 

Owens was released from the Pinellas County Jail the next day after posting $5,000 bond. 


Stock image of Bibles

FILE- A Florida man allegedly smacked a Walgreens employee with a Bible on Easter Sunday after she asked him to leave the store. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

However, Owens’ crime spree did not stop there.

Less than 24 hours after his release, Owens was arrested again.

According to an affidavit from the Tarpon Springs Police Department, Owens allegedly stole men’s shoes and a box of Cheez-Its from Walmart. 

The affidavit described that Owens allegedly grabbed the snack and took it into the bathroom with him before selecting a pair of shoes from a shelf and ripping the tag off them. He then tried on the shoes before allegedly shoving them inside a duffle bag. 

Peter Owens second mug shot

After Peter Owens was arrested for allegedly smacking a Walgreens employee with a Bible, he posted bond and walked free. He wound up in jail again, less than 24 hours later, after he allegedly swiped shoes and box of Cheez-Its from Walmart. (Fox 35/Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office)

Owens was stopped by a loss prevention officer when he allegedly walked out of the store without paying.


Police were notified and Owens was arrested once again and transported to the Pinellas County Jail. As of Wednesday afternoon, he remains in custody on $150 bond, according to jail records.

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