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Suspect Charged in Walmart Beating [Updated]

Authorities believe the beating may have been a random attack.

People crowd outside the Walmart where the stabbing took place. (YouTube MassMediaArtistry)
People crowd outside the Walmart where the stabbing took place. (YouTube MassMediaArtistry)

[Updated | 4:00 p.m. PDT Nov. 3: A man accused of beating a 74-year-old man to death with a metal baseball bat at a Walmart in Lakewood was charged with murder Thursday, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Richard Lawrence Kalfin, 47, is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday afternoon at the Bellflower Superior Court on one count of murder with an allegation that the defendant personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon.]

Kalfin is charged with beating David Oakleaf to death on Nov. 1 in the sporting goods section of Walmart.

Police said Wednesday the beating was unprovoked.

"That's one of the biggest questions ... and it's what makes this case so disturbing," Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. Eddie Hernandez told the Long Beach Press-Telegram. "It's just almost unbelievable to think something this brutal could be so random and unprovoked."

Some witnesses, in a video taken outside the Walmart and posted to YouTube, said the man seemed to be unprovoked before hitting the other man in the head.

Hernandez said there is no evidence or video surveillance to support an exchange between the men.

"There was absolutely no evidence (of any contact) inside the Walmart," Hernandez said. "Whether there was contact outside the store we don't know ... we're still looking into that."

Witness Jennifer Thompson was standing one aisle away from the attack. She told KCAL-TV: "It was very scary. Very, very scary, to hear the noise of someone's life being taken away."

After the brutal attack which left the victim with massive head trauma, Thompson said the suspect "walked out like it was nothing" before being stopped by store security guards outside.

In reviewing the surveillance, Hernandez said "It was one of the most disturbing videos I've ever seen."
Walmart released a statement Tuesday stating they are working with authorities:

"We express our deepest condolences to the family of this man as they grieve the loss of their loved one. We are working closely with law enforcement to offer what information we have such as surveillance video that might help with the investigation."

The charging document also alleges that Kalfin was convicted of arson of property on Aug. 18, 2005.


This store is open 24 hours a day. Where was security when all this was going on. This is Lakewood. I am shocked that security was not walking the floors. If somebody was stealing I bet they would have been somewhere watching that. I think Walmart needs to have cameras like that have in the casinos where somebody is there abserving what is going on in this store. I used to love to shop at Walmart before it became a grocery store. This place is too small to accommodate a grocery department. Well Walmart, I will not shop at your store anymore. I feel that someone lost his life do to your very poor security system.

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