A lawyer for a 79-year-old Villager sought a last-minute continuance on the eve of a trial involving a long-running feud between neighbors in The Villages.
The trial was to commence this week in Sumter County Court. The case involves Gerald Wilbur Lawson, who was arrested on a felony charge of battery in 2020 at his residence on Bradford Loop in the Village of Sanibel. Lawson’s attorney, Mark Conan, sought a continuance on Friday, according to court documents.
Lawson’s 73-year-old neighbor contacted the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office on Oct. 13, 2020 to report that Lawson had struck her in the buttocks with the handle of a lawnmower. She showed the deputies footage from her ADT surveillance system which showed her standing on the irrigation lid on her property watering her new sod, according to an arrest report. The video showed Lawson mowing his lawn and that he “purposely lifts the rear tires of the mower” and “hitting her on the buttocks,” the deputy wrote in the report. The woman had “red marks on the right buttocks.”
A deputy went to Lawson’s home, but the Brunswick, Mass. native refused to speak with law enforcement regarding the matter.
Lawson and his wife purchased their home in the Village of Sanibel in 2011 and their next-door neighbors purchased their home one year later. Though initially friends, the neighbors have been in conflict for several years.