Man suspected of two random attacks in Lehigh Acres

Reporter: Justin Kase Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:
A man suspected of two random attacks in Lehigh Acres. Credit: Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers

An unidentified man caught on camera is a suspect in two different random attacks in Lehigh Acres last week.

The man in the photos is suspected of a battery on a 40-year-old woman at a Dollar Tree store on Lee Boulevard on Jan. 13. Deputies say he randomly struck the victim inside the store without provocation and walked out. Detectives believe this same man battered a 70-year-old man in the parking lot of the Walmart Supercenter at 2523 Lee Blvd. on Jan. 12 at around 10:40 a.m. It was a random attack where the suspect walked towards the victim’s vehicle and began punching him.

The suspect is described as being in his early to mid-thirties, approximately 5’9 and heavyset. He either has short hair or is bald. The suspect left the assaults in a red, late model Chrysler or Dodge Minivan.

Investigators say neither of the two people the man attacked knew him.

Shoppers in the area where the attacks happened say they’ve always felt safe, but just because they feel safe, doesn’t mean they won’t be a little extra cautious moving forward.

Pam Young said, “how can you watch for that, you know? He probably just comes out of nowhere. So, you know that wouldn’t be an easy thing to plan ahead for.”

After hitting a woman at the Dollar Tree on Lee Boulevard, investigators say what appears to be the same man attacked another person at Walmart. Leaving shoppers with an uneasy feeling.

“I actually didn’t want to carry my purse, but my purse is always loaded anyways. So, now, I’ll definitely be carrying my purse. But I usually feel really safe here,” said Trish, who was shopping in the area where the attacks took place.

Some shoppers say this is one of the reasons why they always go out in public with a plan.

Robin Derryberry said, “I park where a car can’t be beside me getting into my truck. When I leave, my keys are always ready. Most of my stuff is packed in my cart, so it’s a quick in, and you’re in the truck and go.”

Crimestoppers say you don’t need to be afraid, but they do want you to be aware.

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