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Panhandler arrested after throwing hot coffee at Circle K clerk

Kerry Hawkins
Kerry Hawkins

A panhandler with an extensive criminal record was arrested after allegedly throwing hot coffee at a Circle K clerk.

Leesburg police officers were dispatched to the Circle K gas station on the morning of Jan. 6 regarding an incident at the store on South 14th Street. They met with the victim of the attack who told the officers that a man, later identified as 61-year-old Kerry L. Hawkins, had been loitering at the front door of the store that morning. He had been asking customers for money. When the clerk asked him to leave, he told her he was going to buy some coffee. Hawkins grabbed an extra large coffee from the coffee bar and walked toward the door past the clerk who asked him to pay for the coffee. Hawkins went out the door ignoring her demands that he pay for the coffee. She followed him out of the store and told him if he did not pay for the coffee she would call the police. Hawkins spun around and threw the coffee directly into the clerk’s eyes and left the area.

The officers could see that the clerk had swelling on the left side of her face and appeared to have blistering from the scalding coffee. She was emotionally distraught, and the report said she was later transported to the hospital  for treatment.  A witness to the attack confirmed the clerk’s account. The incident was also caught on the store’s security video.

Hawkins was detained by the police a short distance from the Circle K and was transported to the Leesburg Police Station for booking. When Hawkins was told that he was being charged with aggravated battery he told the officer “That (expletive deleted) got what she deserved.”

Hawkins has prior shoplifting convictions as well as convictions for battery.

The Alabama native was taken to the Lake County Jail. Bond was set at $15,000.

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