Man critically wounds woman, sets fire to apartments in Winter Springs, police say

Justin Lorrison arrested in Oviedo after driving away in victim’s van

WINTER SPRINGS, Fla. – A man was arrested early Thursday — hours after being released from jail on hit-and-run and DUI charges — after a woman was critically wounded and her Winter Springs apartment was set on fire.

Winter Springs police said Justin Lorrison was arrested in Oviedo in connection with the attack on the woman and the fire, which resulted in the death of a dog.

Lorrison is locked up after a judge revoked his bond from the previous charges Thursday afternoon. He had just bonded out of jail on those charges around 10 p.m. Wednesday, according to police.

“Mr. Lorrison I made a ruling at the beginning of the week to let you out — I’m sad about that,” the judge said during Lorrison’s first appearance on some of the new charges Thursday afternoon. “Mr Lorrison at age 30 — or whatever age — it’s time to hold you in jail and figure out what’s going on and why this keeps happening to you in such a short period of time.”

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Man critically wounds woman, sets fire to Seville on the Green apartments in Winter Springs, police say

According to police, the victim called authorities around 2:20 a.m. saying she was bleeding heavily from the neck and there was smoke at her Seville on the Green apartment.

In a 911 call, the woman said she was attacked by a family member.

“He just stole my van and I’m bleeding all over the place. Please help me,” she told dispatchers. “I’m on fire. I’m burning. There’s flames everywhere,” the victim said in the 911 call, adding that her dog was still inside.

Officers evacuated 12 apartment units due to the fire, which displaced 15 residents, and the woman was taken to a hospital in critical but stable condition, police said.

Authorities said it was determined that Lorrison wounded the woman, with whom he has a domestic relationship, and set the apartments on fire before driving off in the woman’s van.

“Everything’s on fire. I can’t do anything, and I’m bleeding all over the place,” the victim told dispatchers.

Next door neighbor Orlando Shaw ran from the fire to get help.

“I heard the lady screaming out for help, so I opened my window and my window was completely covered in fire,” he said. " I went to go help the lady and she had blood all over her. She wasn’t doing alright, she was bleeding out.”

Shaw said he heard fighting from the same residence often.

“My mom is shaken up but I am okay, just have prayers for the lady,” Shaw said. “I’m thankful we had the time to get out safe.”

According to the police report, Seminole County Fire Department crews evacuated all the apartments close to the fire. Flames were so severe that the fire was blocking a staircase and some residents had to jump from a balcony to escape, with firefighters catching them below.

Firefighters later found the victim’s dog dead in her apartment, according to the report.

Winter Springs police said officers discovered the van on State Road 434 near Winding Hollow Boulevard and attempted to stop Lorrison, but he kept driving and entered Oviedo.

According to the arrest report, Lorrison drove into oncoming traffic to avoid stop sticks and attempted to strike an Oviedo officer’s patrol vehicle with the van. After Lorrison ran over more stop sticks, he turned left across all lanes of traffic, jumped a curb and crashed into a road sign before coming to a stop, according to the report.

Lorrison was taken into police custody and arrested on charges of attempted homicide and arson. He also faces charges from Oviedo police of aggravated assault on a firefighter with a motor vehicle.

Winter Springs Captain Matt Tracht say Lorrison is known to the police department.

“This is a domestic violence incident, we do have a slew of felony charges on this guy,” Captain Tracht said. “I am aware he was recently arrested by Casselberry. It’s all within the family.”

Crews from Seminole County, Longwood and Lake Mary battled the fire, bringing it under control in about 50 minutes, officials said.

One person was treated at the scene for breathing in smoke, and another hurt their elbow, officials said.

Back at the scene Thursday afternoon, Winter Springs crime scene investigators along with the fire marshal executed a search warrant to investigate the now charred crime scene.

“It’s very tragic and shocking to the community here that has to witness this as well,” Captain Tracht added.

Lorrison was arrested Saturday night after his car ended up in a retention pond, according to Casselberry police.

Officers were originally responding to a criminal mischief call at a home along Legacy Park Drive, where Lorrison asked a woman for help after he was kicked out by his grandmother, officials said. The woman offered Lorrison money to stay at a nearby hotel, but he refused, twice saying, “Don’t play, I will light your (expletive) house on fire,” according to an arrest report.

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The woman told officers she watched as Lorrison backed his Cadillac into her car, shoving it about a foot, then drove off, according to the report.

Witnesses later told police Lorrison’s car appeared to lose control and ended up in a retention pond between Legacy Park Drive and the Geneva School, authorities said.

Police said they arrived at the pond to find Lorrison standing on the vehicle as it sank in the water. Officers said Lorrison chucked a bag into the water and then refused to swim back to shore. Eventually, Lorrison made it back to land and was arrested. The report said he smelled of alcohol and Lorrison later failed a sobriety test.

Lorrison was arrested on charges of hit-and-run, driving under the influence and reckless driving.


About the Author:

Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on ClickOrlando.com, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.