Florida man attempts to poison ex-girlfriend with Lysol, police say

Richard Lewis arrested in DeLand

DELAND, Fla. – A man has been arrested for attempting to poison his ex-girlfriend with Lysol after they broke up, the DeLand Police Department said.

Neighbors heard an argument Wednesday around 4 p.m. Police arrived and immediately noticed blood in the doorway and a broken window with shards of glass lying around.

Police said that, when they got to the home, it was in a state of disarray with the smell of bleach in the air and wine bottles and other items thrown about the room.

It was discovered that Tiera Cotton had just broken up with her boyfriend, Richard Lewis. After the breakup, Lewis came back to the house to gather some of his belongings, police said.

Once there, Lewis told police, he and Cotton began arguing about their breakup. The argument escalated and the two were soon kicking and pushing one another.

Lewis told officials that Cotton ran to the kitchen, grabbed a kitchen knife, gestured toward him with it and warned him that she was going to call the police if he didn't leave.

Lewis then left and stood outside while storms began to move through the area.

After 40 minutes of waiting outside in the rain, Lewis smashed a window with his bare hands and unlocked the door from the inside, police said. 

Cotton then ran to the kitchen again, picked up a knife and threw it toward Lewis, along with several wine bottles, police said. She then ran to a neighbor's house to call the police.

Police found Cotton walking toward her job. She told police that Lewis bleached her clothes, took her Bluetooth speaker and computer, and left.

The day before, Cotton said, she had asked her mother to go and check the house and see if Lewis was still there after the two of them had broken up. Cotton's mother found that Lewis was still at the home and asked why he was there. Lewis told her that he was waiting for it to stop raining.

Cotton told officials that she had received threatening messages from Lewis that said, "You're lucky your mom was there to save your life."

Police said, Cotton told her mother that Lewis had bleached all of her clothes and also had put bleach in her juice and pickles. Cotton had drunk some of the pickle juice but immediately noticed that something wasn't right and stopped drinking it. 

Lewis told police that he had been frustrated and had put Lysol into Cotton's pickle juice in an attempt to poison her.

Lewis was arrested and charged with domestic violence battery, criminal mischief and poisoning a person's food with intent to injure them. He was transported to the Volusia County Jail.