FLORALA, Ala. (WDHN) — A shocking video that’s gone viral. An 86-year-old barber, beaten by a customer who suddenly became violent and attacked him.
WDHN News spoke exclusively spoke with the victim at his business, Cobb’s Barber Shop, along Fifth Avenue in downtown Florala, along with an eyewitness who stepped in to help.
Caution: This video may be hard to watch due to the graphic nature of some scenes, viewer discretion is advised.
Monday afternoon, J.B. Clary was cutting a customer’s hair when the man suddenly jumps up and belts the elderly man. The blow knocks Clary to the floor of his shop. Clary said he wasn’t expecting any kind of situation like this to ever happen.
“I didn’t know it, my back was turned to him,” Clary said. “He hit me while I was turned around. He got in the chair and told me how he wanted his haircut. I touched him twice with the clippers and said your cutting it all off? And he jumped out of the chair! I hardly cut his hair.”
Donna Battin works as a barber at the shop. She immediately pulled her .38 caliber handgun and told
the assailant in no uncertain terms that he was to leave.
“I said you need to get out of here before you get shot, boy. And what did he do? He left,” according to Battin.
Florala native and longtime Police Chief, Sonny Bedsole says an incident like this may occur in a large city, but things have changed especially in rural areas.
“I have to keep my emotions under control,” Chief Bedsole said. “That gentleman has cut my hair ever since I’ve been able to sit in a barber’s chair. But I served the warrant on him after the victim decided he would prosecute.”
“He does everything for everybody,” Clary’s longtime friend, Ed Harrison said. “He takes people to the doctor in Pensacola. He goes to the rest home and gives the old folks haircuts and doesn’t even charge.”
The suspect is Gary Wesley-Lambert of Mississippi. He’s being charged with third-degree assault, a misdemeanor in Alabama. He was transported to the Covington County Jail in Andalusia and given a $1,000 bond.