LODI (CBS13) — A man who punched two children at a Target in Lodi was sentenced to nine years in prison last month.

Jeff Hardcastle, 51, attacked the children on August 28 of this year while they were looking at video games. Witnesses statements and video surveillance revealed he approached the boys, ages 11 and 5, and punched one in the back of the head and the other in the face.

Court records reveal the 5-year-old was bleeding from his nose and mouth area and was taken to the hospital. He sustained a concussion from the punch. the 11-year-old did not have any serious injuries.

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Hardcastle also resisted arrest, exiting the store from the rear fire exit when police arrived and not complying with officers’ orders. Lodi police said they were familiar with Hardcastle and said he had been arrested a week before the incident for public intoxication. Officials believed he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the attack.

In court, Hardcastle admitted to causing great bodily injury to a minor and pleaded no contest to assault likely to cause great bodily injury. He also admitted to having a prior strike offense for robbery.


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