Gainesville man arrested after allegedly threatening UF Health security guard with knife

Staff report

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Christopher John Schaff, 34, was arrested early yesterday morning and charged with aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony after allegedly threatening a UF Health security guard with a knife.

A University of Florida Police Department officer responded to UF Health Shands at 1600 SW Archer Road at about 5:27 a.m. yesterday, where the victim said Schaff pulled a knife on him after being asked to leave the property. Schaff allegedly made threatening statements to the security guard, including using a racial epithet and threatening to stab him. The victim said Schaff was holding a knife with the blade out while making the threats and that he made “jabbing” motions toward him and then lunged at him.

Schaff reportedly ran toward the VA Hospital when he saw the officer’s patrol car; another officer joined the chase, and Schaff was arrested a short time later.

A search incident to arrest reportedly produced a pocket knife that the victim identified as the same one used to threaten him. Officers also viewed an iPhone Live Photo that reportedly showed Schaff pulling out the knife and making a slashing motion toward security guards.

Schaff has an Alachua County criminal history going back to 2007; he has four felony convictions (none violent) and six misdemeanor convictions (none violent). He was found incompetent to stand trial in 2021 after arrests for petit theft, burglary, property damage, and battery on an officer; he was found competent to stand trial about six months later after a stay in the State Hospital and entered a plea of nolo contendere to some of the charges, resulting in a sentence of 364 days in jail with credit for 364 days served. The battery charge was dropped.

Judge Walter Green set bail at $10,000.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

  • Obviously, this man has fallen through the mental health system. He needs medical assessment and follow-up. Pulling out a pocket knife it’s not a Rambo Survival blade. Jail with violent inmates will only make him worse.

    • BS. People are tired of the Gainesvillecisco liberals making excuses for the “homeless” and “downtrodden” with mental health issues. Guess what…it’s not our problem. Put them on a bus to live in a sanctuary state! Or, put him in the toughest prison you can find. Collect all of the homeless, and send them to New York! Then, to finish the process, level the Grace Marketplace….the pimple on the ass of Alachua County.

      • Sounds like a good plan. Since we’re shipping out all the crazies, where should we leave your bus ticket?

    • Bob, there is no answer most of these folks come from out of town to the Homeless Welcome Center, Grace. Where there are no rules. Yes, he has Mental Health issues but where is his family. They are the ones who could possibly have him committed. I believe and have seen medication work. All this puts the burden on our city. He could have killed or been killed. Some innocent walking into hospital could have been a victim.

      • I am his sister and I’m here to say his family has tried, we put him through rehab. He went to meridian, was on medication. He chose to stop taking and doing what he was supposed to do. He lived with me from January to September until I had a similar situation as the security guard happen in my house. Called the cops and they were going to baker act him but they could never find him(he fled on foot) Assuming his family has done nothing to help him is just pure ignorance. You don’t know the money we’ve spent or the time we invested to help him. Florida needs a long term mental hospital . He needs to be locked away and treated for his mental illnesses. I am not saying he doesn’t deserve jail time because he most definitely does but he also needs medical attention.

    • A knife is a knife and can be considered a deadly weapon no matter what the length is when it is used in a threatening manner. I dont think anyone cares if it’s a Rambo special, steak hnife, or a boy scout knife. If the blade is sharp it will cut or puncture a human body with ease. If they person is within 21 feet e pectoral to get cut under normal reaction times. Now I do agree that this guy needs some mental health treatment but when you have dumb judges that really believe a person being released from jail with mental health issues will really get self help, That is the PROBLEM. sooner or later these type of mentally ill people will mess with the wrong person or hurt someone. If we have that many criminally insane people walking around maybe we need to reopen State Mental Hospitals again.

  • He exists so scummy lawyers, judges and NGOs can keep milking the gullible voters. Fact.

  • I am his younger sister. My family has done everything in their power to try to get him the help he needs . We have put him through rehab several times, took him to meridian got him on medication. He chose to stop going, no one can force someone to do something they don’t want to do . A couple months ago , a similar situation happened in my house after letting him live with me from January to September and the cops I don’t think took the situation as seriously as needed. I tried to tell them he was not okay in the head and he was either going to hurt himself or someone else . The system failed him, not his family. We have tried several different times to get him admitted into a mental facility and all that happens is they hold him for a few days and then he ends up being released. I could write a book and explain to yall the help he’s received and the help he hasn’t. So before anyone assumes his family just abandoned him. No one deserves to have their life taken though and I don’t think it’s safe for him to be on the streets. To the man he threatened I sincerely apologize and I’m glad you’re okay .

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