A La Mesa clothing store owner was arrested Tuesday morning on suspicion of attacking a reporter and a cameraman, whose equipment was seriously damaged, when news crews tried to interview him outside his business Monday about other alleged crimes, police reported.
Peter Carzis, 76, of La Mesa was arrested Tuesday morning in San Diego and booked on suspicion of misdemeanor battery and felony vandalism for allegedly causing “irreparable damage” to the videographer’s camera valued at about $7,000, La Mesa police Lt. Greg Runge said.
Carzis is also a suspect in involving allegations that he committed misdemeanor battery and a lewd act in public on Saturday in front of his store, Peter’s Men’s Apparel on La Mesa Boulevard, Runge said.
Video footage posted on the “La Mesa Happenings” Facebook page appeared to show a man, alleged to be Carzis, with his hands up a woman’s shirt outside the store. According to media reports, he’s also accused of spitting at a man on the sidewalk outside the business.
On Sunday night, the La Mesa Police Department said in a Twitter posting that the department was “aware of the video posted on the La Mesa Happenings group and will be following up with any potential victims.”
When reporters from several media outlets attempted to interview Carzis on Monday, video shot by KUSI showed him cursing at reporters, shoving a cameraman and slapping a phone out of a reporter’s hand before walking back into his store.
Police responded to the scene, but Carzis had fled, Runge said.
La Mesa police detectives found him early Tuesday morning at an undisclosed location in San Diego and took him into custody, the lieutenant said.
LMPD is investigating both incidents “and will be submitting reports to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office recommending prosecution of all charges,” Runge said.
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