Loitering Ocala man jailed after shutting off RaceTrac power

Dakota J. Albritton

A man who was loitering in front of a RaceTrac and asked to leave is accused of shutting off power to the store.

Dakota J. Albritton, 26, whose address was not available, was charged Tuesday with felony criminal mischief and preventing extinguishment of a fire. The manager of the store, located at 15 S. Pine Ave, told an Ocala Police officer that she watched Albritton walk to the back of the building and stop at the emergency power shutoff device, according to the police report.

The manager said Albritton raise his arm, and then the power went off in the store. The manager showed the officer the device that is used to shut off power. The device is covered by a layer of glass that must be broken by the attached mini hammer, the report said.

Once the glass is broken and the button is pushed, power is lost to the entire store, including the fire-suppression systems for the store and fuel pumps. Until the device is replaced, the store and pumps will have no fire suppression. The manager said business will be interrupted at least four hours, and that replacing the “one-use” emergency button will cost $1,500 plus labor, according to the report.

Officers located Albritton on the patio of the Starbucks store located one block away from the RaceTrac. Albritton said he walked past the shutoff device and got shocked because the “lock out tag out” procedure wasn’t correct on the device. He said he broke the glass with the hammer and pushed the button before leaving the scene, the report said.

The manager positively identified Albritton as the man she observed raising his arm and standing next to the shutoff device as the power went out. Albritton was taken to the Marion County Jail, where he’s being held on $5,000 bond. He’s scheduled to appear in Marion County Court on Feb. 25.