Florida man attacked gas station clerk with box cutter inside locked bathroom, police say

A Florida man was arrested Saturday and accused of locking himself and a woman inside a Seminole County gas station bathroom and attacking her with a box cutter, according to the Sanford Police Department.

Randal Lee Lawton, 62, was booked into jail on charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, resisting an officer, and kidnapping, according to online jail records. 

According to the arrest affidavit, police responded to the RaceTrac gas station shortly after 5 a.m. on Saturday near U.S. Highway 17-92 and Lake Mary Blvd. When officers arrived, they found Lawton locked inside the men's restroom and heard a woman screaming for help, the report said. That woman was later identified as an employee of the gas station.

Officers broke into the restroom and reportedly saw Lawton standing over the woman with a box cutter in his hand. "[The woman] was covered in blood and had two deep lacerations to her neck [and] multiple lacerations to her left hand," the affidavit said. 

Lawton was detained, and the woman was taken to the hospital. An update on the woman's condition was not immediately known.

According to the report, the woman told police that Lawton had been at the gas station earlier to purchase cigarettes and coffee. He returned later and went to the bathroom, she said. She said it appeared that he was talking to himself.

At some point, Lawton came out of the bathroom and asked for toilet paper. When the woman entered the bathroom to replace the toilet paper, Lawton also went into the bathroom and locked both of them inside, the report said.

Lawton then allegedly put his hand over the woman's mouth and forced her to the ground, the woman told police. When she tried to get away, Lawton allegedly tried to cut her throat, she said, according to the report.

The woman fought back and grabbed the knife, cutting her hand, the report said. She said Lawton stopped attacking her once police entered the bathroom.

Police said the woman had multiple cuts on her hand, two deep cuts below her chin, and was missing a tooth.

Lawton was interviewed by police after his arrest. However, police have redacted that portion of the report.

"This area has always been a little bit suspect," said David Mickelsen, who lives in the area and works near the RaceTrac, "so you have to be aware."

Attempts to contact the victim were unsuccessful, but it is reported that she is recovering from her injuries.

"It's just crazy, really. A crazy world. It doesn’t surprise me, but to have it so close – it just goes to show you never know," added Mickelsen. "It’s frightening. I’m glad they’re okay. It really is just crazy."

Lawton has no prior criminal history in Seminole County. He is being held on a $55,000 bond, and his arraignment is scheduled for July 23.