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Polk Co. man arrested for pushing down elderly gas station clerk during armed robbery

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Posted at 9:10 AM, Apr 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-19 09:10:58-04

LAKELAND, Fla. — The Polk County Sheriff's Office arrested an armed robber who pushed down an elderly gas station clerk on Monday.

Lorenzo Johnson, 53, was seen on surveillance video entering the Circle K on N. Galloway Road, just before 2 a.m., according to deputies.

After entering the store, Johnson walked behind the counter and pushed the 77-year-old clerk to the floor, knocking her glasses off. He then held a pocket knife near her face while grabbing a handful of coins.

Deputies said as Johnson was walking past the clerk to leave the store he pushed her down again. The elderly clerk suffered minor injuries.

"There was absolutely no reason to push her down; she wasn't trying to stop him, she wasn't fighting him...he just pushed her down...twice," Sheriff Grady Judd said. "I want to thank the anonymous tipsters who helped identify Johnson, and the media who helped get this story out there. He's a career criminal and he needs to go back to prison again."

Johnson was charged with armed burglary with battery and robbery with a deadly weapon, both of which are life felonies.

"Johnson's prior criminal history consists of 31 felony arrests and 11 misdemeanor arrests. Charges include: aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon (2), child abuse, burglary (3), larceny (11), dealing in stolen property (2), battery, organized fraud, uttering forged check, fraud, resisting (2), introduction of contraband, possession of marijuana with intent to sell (5), possession of cocaine, possession of paraphernalia, non support of child, and transporting dangerous materials. He has been incarcerated seven times since 1989." —Polk County Sheriff's Office