LODI (CBS 13) — A 51-year-old man who violently attacked two children inside a Lodi Target has been sentenced to almost a decade in prison.
For the first time on Wednesday, police released the surveillance video of the crime. The video is shocking, police describe it as one of the most disturbing they’ve ever seen.
The incident happened back in August. The children are just 5 and 11 years old. Police said the kids did absolutely nothing to provoke an attack. The video speaks for itself.
In the video, you can see two young boys playing a video game inside the Target electronics section, completely unaware of what’s about to happen. Suddenly, Jeff Hardcastle hits the 11-year-old from behind and sucker punches the 5-year-old in the face. The force of the punch threw him to the ground. The 11-year-old can be seen rushing to help.
Parents who watch this video can’t help but feel rage.
“I would have lost it. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually lost it,” said Melvin Goodrum Jr.
Deserie Lisondra couldn’t believe a stranger would just walk up to small kids and do this.
“I really would not contain myself, this is my child, I don’t know you why would you put your hands on my child?” she said.
A witness CBS13 talked to back in August remembered the horror after this attack, specifically cries from the children.
“He was screaming for a pretty long time. It was loud and it was ringing through the whole store,” Amber Burchfield said.
Police said Hardcastle appeared to be on drugs and was behaving oddly inside the store. The surveillance video shows him wandering around the aisles. At one point Hardcastle can be seen hunched over in a chair. Officers were eventually able to corner him behind an electric box outside the Target.
The San Joaquin County District Attorney sentenced Hardcastle to nine years in prison. Hardcastle pled no contest to assault and causing great bodily injury to a minor. As part of this sentence, Hardcastle also admitted to a previous violent felony which was a robbery from 2008.