Attacked clerk regains some sight

Published: Sunday, January 20, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 20, 2008 at 12:36 a.m.

The convenience store clerk who had cleaning solution thrown in her face during a convenience store robbery has regained some of her sight.

"My right eye I can see out of OK now, but the doctors told me the cornea was burned in my left eye," the 46-year-old woman said. "I can see some light and shadows with my left eye. I'm going back on Wednesday to see the doctor again."

The crime happened Wednesday morning inside the Food Max store at 915 E. University Ave. According to police reports, a young man and teen girl who had been inside the store in the morning returned shortly before noon.

The man reportedly asked for $5 worth of cigars and when the woman gave them to him, the man threw a chemical substance, likely bleach, into her face.

The woman told police the man jumped over the counter, knocked her down, hit her, claimed he had a gun and duct-taped her face. The man and teen allegedly took cash from the register before fleeing.

Police found the woman inside the store. She was unable to see and had duct tape around her neck. The woman was treated at an area hospital and on Saturday morning said that despite her ongoing vision problem, she would probably have to return to work soon.

On Thursday, Gainesville police arrested Alfred White, 18, on charges of armed robbery and aggravated battery.

A 16-year-old girl, who had been on home detention for an unrelated crime, was arrested on charges of armed robbery and violation of home detention.

The injured clerk, who asked not to be identified, said the experience has left her convinced that the criminal justice system needs to get tougher.

"My whole issue now is that there are children who are out of control," the woman said. "As a victim, I want something done about this."

Karen Voyles can be reached at 352-359-5656 or

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