Punta Gorda man accused of ramming a shopping cart into another man
Lucas Seiler, WBBH
9:54 AM, Jan 14, 2014
10:43 AM, Jan 14, 2014
Imagine checking out at the grocery store only to hear the person behind you start counting the number of products you have out loud for everyone to hear.
That's exactly what John Malherbe says happened to him Saturday inside a Punta Gorda Walmart.
Malherbe, who was checking out while riding in an electric scooter due to recent surgeries, says 77-year-old William Galladay not only got too close for comfort, but started screaming at him to move to another register.
"He kept screaming about too many groceries and stuff… I'm like, what?" Malherbe said.
Malherbe was in a 20 or less check-out lane -- he says he had 22 items.
Deputies say when Malherbe didn't change lanes, Galladay came running at him with his shopping cart and slammed into him multiple times.
"I think it was the shock of… what? Are you serious? And I kept asking my wife, what?" said Malherbe.
The collision caused bruising and swelling -- and Malherbe couldn't get up to do anything about it.
An off-duty officer just happened to see it all -- the deputy restrained Galladay right as he was gesturing both fists at Malherbe.
"He was not going to quit..." Malherbe said.
He was able to gather his groceries after that and leave. Galladay, on the other hand, didn't make it out with his three items.
Deputies took him to the Charlotte County Jail for battering an elderly person.