Lakeland bar owner beat to death


Published: Sunday, January 13, 2008 at 8:53 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 13, 2008 at 8:53 p.m.

LAKELAND, Fla. - A bar owner was fatally beaten in his home by three people after an earlier altercation at the bar with another man, authorities said.

The three people were apparently angry that Richard Oaks, 49, the owner of the Par 33 Lounge, hit his friend and neighbor Alan Pierce on the head with a beer bottle, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said.

Pierce received 13 stitches at the Lakeland Regional Medical Center, the sheriff's office said. He called his daughter Alexia Pierce, 17, who was with her friends Tiffanie Hemness, 19, Charles Bonfiglio, 21, and Cody Scarpa, 17, the sheriff's office said. They all went to the medical center and became enraged about what happened to Pierce, authorities said. They were joined by Brock A. Winkler, 17, whom they ran into at the hospital, authorities said.

Sometime between midnight Sunday and 4 a.m., the three males went into Oaks' home and beat him to death with their fists and an umbrella, the sheriff's office said.

They were arrested and charged first degree murder and burglary, while the two girls, who remained in the car, were arrested and charged with accessory to burglary, sheriff's spokeswoman Carrie Rodgers said.

Bonfiglio will be booked into Polk County Jail, while the teenagers will be taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center.

It was not immediately known if they had attorneys.

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