Alleged hatchet attack is latest in string of crimes in Palm Bay

An alleged attack by a man wielding a hatchet became the latest in a string of violent crimes in Palm Bay in just one week.

Police said they found a man sitting by an Aldi store bleeding badly from his arm.

According to their report, a witness said the suspect went to a nearby Walmart to buy a hatchet and a machete and then attacked the victim.

The victim was rushed to the hospital and the suspect, Michael Paul, was arrested.

"It’s actually quite horrific," said Julian Lens while shopping in the same area. "I can’t believe some of that would happen around here. It’s pretty quiet usually."

"It’s a little unusual and I hope they get ahold of it, get a grip on it," said James Blouin.

A day before the hatchet attack, a man was murdered in a carjacking.


Before that, four teens were shot at an apartment with a suspect still on the loose.

The wave of violent crimes started when a man was found dead in Palm Bay, shot several times.

"Be vigilant, keep your eye out on things, and be aware of where you’re at, who’s around," Blouin said.

City officials have described the crimes as isolated incidents.

"While we take these occurrences seriously, rest assured that they are isolated and do not reflect the overall safety of our city," Mayor Rob Medina said in a prepared statement Wednesday.

FOX 35 News looked up crime statistics from the past few years in the city.

Counting the past two killings in Palm Bay, there have been six so far this year.

That already matches the number of homicides the city had in 2022 and in 2021. It appears aggravated assaults have been trending down since 2021. However, weapons law violations could be going up. 

So far, this year has already surpassed the number of weapons law violations from 2021.

While city officials haven't said much about the trends, people in the area are hoping the crime is being addressed.

"I’m sure the city is aware and making changes appropriately," said Hermeline Blanc. "Us as residents just need to keep an eye out."

This week, Palm Bay officials have only released pre-prepared statements.

The mayor, city manager, and the police department have declined to do on-camera interviews with FOX 35 about the recent crime.