Suspect charged with beating 81-year-old man in restroom of Duluth supermarket

posted in: News | 0

DULUTH, Minn. — The suspect accused of beating an 81-year-old man with a hammer in the restroom of a Duluth supermarket Friday has been charged.

Lance Alexander Tolbert, 43, of Duluth, Minn., was charged May 28, 2024, in St. Louis County District Court with using a hammer to assault an 81-year-old man in the restroom of a Duluth grocery store on May 24. (St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office via Forum News Service)

Lance Alexander Tolbert, 43, of Duluth, was charged Tuesday with premeditated first-degree attempted murder.

The criminal complaint alleges Tolbert stepped out of a Mount Royal Market men’s restroom stall around 8:50 a.m. and struck the back of the head of a man standing at the urinal. Tolbert reportedly continued the attack after the victim fell to the floor.

Duluth Police Department identified the victim as Bradley French and reported Tuesday he was in stable condition. The complaint said French continues to receive treatment, including surgery, for his injuries, including a skull fracture, cuts on his hands and scalp, a deep puncture wound on one arm, and a broken hand.

Police said French and Tolbert did not know each other.

During the attack, French “fought back” and managed to take the hammer from Tolbert, who had put his gloved fingers into French’s mouth, according to the complaint. The attack stopped when another person entered the restroom, prompting Tolbert to take the hammer and run from the store.

Tolbert was found 13 minutes later, the complaint said. Blood was found on his clothes, body, and on a hatchet attached to his belt. Tolbert was wearing winter boots, a black T-shirt, insulated camouflage overalls and protective shinpads.

The next day, police found Tolbert’s black hooded jacket and “a hammer covered in what appeared to be blood” in its pocket, according to the complaint.

In a letter Tuesday, Assistant St. Louis County Attorney Anthony Rubin urged the judge not to consider any pretrial release because “the nature of this violence poses such an incredible threat to public safety.” Rubin recommended the court set Tolbert’s bail at $500,000.

“It is only due to grace and grit that the 81-year-old veteran who was surprise-attacked in a grocery store men’s restroom still pulls breath on this earth,” Rubin wrote.

According to the complaint, French had stopped in the restroom before shopping with a friend.

Tolbert remained lodged at the St. Louis County Jail on Tuesday afternoon. No bail was listed on the jail roster.

Related Articles

Crime & Public Safety |

Minnesota man sentenced for soliciting minor to have sex with dog

Crime & Public Safety |

St. Paul man charged after toddler son shoots himself in wrist

Crime & Public Safety |

Part of Stillwater prison remains on lockdown following weekend attack on corrections officers

Crime & Public Safety |

Lakeville man charged with killing pregnant sister, dismembering body

Crime & Public Safety |

Woman dies in single-vehicle rollover crash on I-94 in St. Paul. Authorities say alcohol was involved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.