An armed Florida man went on a rampage in a flea market Sunday morning, attacking a Swap Shop clerk and an 82-year-old customer in a gas station with a three-foot samurai sword and a metal rod, respectively, according to latest reports emerging in the media.
Jovaughn Walker, 21, a resident of Deerfield Beach, has been arrested and now faces charges of attempted murder, aggravated battery, carjacking, and possession of marijuana, the Sun Sentinel reports.
After his arrest, the sword-wielding young man blamed his actions on the remake of the 1982 horror movie Poltergeist, which he had recently viewed. Witnesses at the scene of the crime reported that Walker “began making statements about seeing Poltergeist and wanting to kill all that was evil” before going on the rampage, according to the New York Daily News.
Surveillance video of Walker going on his manic spree through two Lauderhill shops was released by Broward County Sheriff’s Office, where Walker can be seen striking his second victim, the Swap Shop clerk, even after the unarmed man falls to the ground.
Later, the clerk told police officers that the Florida man was “trying to kill” him.
According to authorities, Walker’s bizarre rampage began when he carjacked a Ford pickup truck from a driver, William Lauderback, who was stopped at an intersection in Deerfield Beach. The 21-year-old man, allegedly high on drugs, put Lauderback in a headlock, pushed him out of the car, and sped away in the stolen truck.
He then drove to a Lauderhill Shell gas station Sunday morning and beat up an 82-year-old customer with a metal pole that he was carrying with him. Surveillance video of the gas station showed Walker striking the man several times in front of shocked bystanders before rushing away in the pickup truck. The elderly man suffered serious injuries as a result of the unprovoked attack, needing 18 stitches to close the several facial cuts he had to endure.
In fact, of all the people in the shop, an elderly woman rose to the victim’s defense. The video shows her attempting to act as a shield between the octogenarian and Walker.
Speaking to the Sun Sentinel, Maj. Rick Rocco, who has seen the video, said the Florida man clearly attacked the old man without any provocation from the other side.
“I have seen the [surveillance] video tapes, and these attacks seem to have come out of the blue. It doesn’t look like he had any argument or confrontation. All of a sudden, he just snapped.”
About half an hour after attacking the octogenarian, the Florida man arrived at a Swap Shop, a flea market and drive-in theater. After picking up scissors and a three-foot Samurai sword from one of the booths at the shop, Walker started to swing the weapon at the store clerk and slashed his victim at least eight times.
According to officers, even in the second instance, there was no provocation from the clerk, with officers confirming that Walker attacked his victim “without provocation or any words.”
Soon after, police received a call from the Swap Shop.
“We get a call from the Swap Shop about a man in the Swap Shop brandishing a sword and attacking one of the clerks,” said Rocco.
After his arrest, the sword-wielding Florida man blamed his actions on the 2015 remake of the horror film Poltergeist, saying that he had attacked the elderly man and the clerk because he wanted to wipe away “all evil.”
The police are still trying to figure out what drugs Walker had in his system when he went on the manic spree.
“We don’t know if this individual was on some kind of synthetic drug, or if he was just having some kind of mental breakdown,” the officer said about the attacker’s mental state.
The Florida man is now being held without bail and could face up to several years in jail for his completely unwarranted rampage.
[Image via Broward County Sheriff’s Office Handout/Sun Sentinel]