See more of the story

DULUTH – A Duluth man has been charged with first-degree attempted murder after attacking an 81-year-old man he didn't know with a hammer Friday morning in a grocery store bathroom.

Lance Alexander Tolbert, 43, was charged Tuesday in St. Louis County Court with the premeditated assault on Bradley French. The victim was taken to a local emergency room. He has a skull fracture and large laceration on his scalp, a broken bone on his right hand, several cuts on his hands and a deep puncture wound on his forearm. His condition is stable. The motive is unknown, according to the Duluth Police Department.

According to the criminal complaint: French was using the men's restroom Friday morning at Mount Royal Market when Tolbert, dressed in a black hood, camouflage pants and knee pads, came out of a stall and began hitting him with a hammer. Tolbert stuck his gloved fingers into the older man's mouth. French fought back and was able to get the weapon. The men did not know each other, according to the charges.

The attack ended when another person came into the restroom. Tolbert allegedly grabbed the hammer and left the grocery store on foot.

The Duluth Police Department quickly found Tolbert a few blocks from the store. He had blood on his pants, hands, face and glasses and a bloody hatchet hanging from his belt. Officers found his black hooded coat the next day with a bloodied hammer in the pocket.

Tolbert, who doesn't have any other crimes in Minnesota on his record, is currently in the St. Louis County Jail. Bail has been set at $500,000.