TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A Tampa woman appeared before a judge Monday after she was arrested for allegedly making a bomb inside of a Walmart.
Emily Stallard, 37, reportedly crafted the homemade bomb in front of a child at the Walmart on East Fletcher Avenue.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said a security guard noticed the Stallard wandering aimlessly through the aisles for more than an hour, opening odd items such as nails, a Mason jar and denatured alcohol. He told deputies her behavior was “suspicious.”
The security guard began watching her closely and alerted an off-duty FWC officer who was in the store. The two men were able to stop Stallard right before she lit a wick and detained her until deputies arrived, according to the arrest report.
Deputies said Stallard spit on them while she was being loaded into the patrol car.
Stallard was arrested on charges of Attempted Arson of a Structure, Fire Bombing, Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, Child Abuse and Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer.
“This woman had all the supplies she needed to cause mass destruction at her disposal. Had it not been for an alert off-duty law enforcement officer and a watchful security staff at Walmart, she may have followed through with her plans to cause an explosion inside the store,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister.
“I am proud of the quick response by the officer and security personnel who stepped in and the thorough job performed by my deputies to investigate this matter and make an arrest. I can’t stress enough: if you see something, say something. You don’t have to tackle a bad guy to be a hero. One phone call to law enforcement when you spot something or someone suspicious can ultimately save lives.”
Stallard remains behind bars.