ORLANDO, Fla. – An elderly woman is recovering in Orlando Thursday after police and witnesses said a 28-year-old woman, Stacie McCullough, threw bleach in her face.
The attack happened at a Publix in Winter Park Wednesday at about noon. As of Thursday afternoon, McCullough was still in custody on a $10,000 bond, facing three charges, including robbery with a weapon, aggravated battery and grand theft of motor vehicle.
Police said it all began shortly after the elderly woman left the Publix store and began walking around the side of the building. McCullough was walking toward the woman on the sidewalk and asked the victim for directions, but the victim said she couldn't help.
Police said McCullough yelled, "Turn around! You're lying!"
Once the victim turned around, McCullough reportedly threw a full cup of bleach into her eyes and stole her purse.
"Who? Why would you do that?" said Valerie Fernendez, a friend of the victim. "She's one of the nicest people I know."
Publix workers told police that McCullough caught their eye minutes before the attack, and that something seemed off about her. One worker even jotted down a description of her as she walked through the store.
Police said after the attack, McCullough attempted to flea on foot, but an unsung hero came out of nowhere and stopped her in her tracks.
Witnesses described a black man pulling up in a truck and getting out and going after the attacker. They said he grabbed McCullough by the wrists and yelled for her to "drop the knife."
As he shook, they said she dropped the knife and the contents of the purse before running away.
"Thank you, thank you," Fernendez said. "It's nice to know there are some people out there that would do that."
Fernendez said she'd like to thank the man in person, but that could be difficult, because police said he didn't stick around long enough to give them his name.
"God bless his heart," Fernendez added. "Come forward, he's a hero."
Police later found McCullough hiding underneath a truck in the back of the Publix. She told them she was innocent and was only under the truck taking a nap.
Before leading her away in handcuffs, she wrote in a report, "The cop/police pick me up for slavery. Him and the rest of the white men had started a second form of slavery, and pick me up, saying I'm black and treated me like I am nobody."