PALM BAY, FL (NBC) - When you leave Wal-Mart after making a purchase, you walk past a scanner that sets off an alarm if you haven't paid for something. And if the alarm goes off at this Wal-Mart, Ed Bauman will want to talk to you.
Ed Bauman, Wal-Mart greeter, says "I'm getting too old for this stuff."
Too old to be punched in the head by a customer who exception to Bauman's questions. Ed says when he swang, he got me right here, pointing to the back of his head. The 69-year-old greeter was at the entrance when the man in red shorts, identified as Skyler Lowery set off the alarm but then refused to stop when Bauman questioned him.
Bauman went outside to get his license but watch this, the guy rips Bauman's clipboard from his hands and goes back inside.
Ed says "I grabbed the clip board back and as I was doing that, he hit me with a doubled-up fist behind my ear."
The 6-foot-2 retired Marine didn't back down. Ed says the security officer said if you would have hit him in the jaw the way you hit him in the chest, you would have knocked him out.
Police arrested Lowery who would have faced a charge of misdemeanor battery had Bauman been under 65. But hitting an older person is a felony and Bauman says he still doesn't know why it happened. The alarm was false and Lowery had a receipt for everything in his bag.
Failing to show the receipt in this case meant the difference between 10 seconds and five years. It would have taken 10 seconds to show the receipt but now he faces up to five years for battery on a person over 65.