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La Mesa store owner arrested over altercation with media

peter carzis la mesa
Posted at 7:53 AM, Jan 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-21 21:20:51-05

LA MESA, Calif. (KGTV) -- A La Mesa businessman was arrested following an altercation with media members outside of his store that was caught on video.

According to La Mesa police, 76-year-old Peter Carzis was taken into custody early Tuesday morning on suspicion of felony vandalism and misdemeanor battery. He was booked into San Diego County Jail.

On Monday afternoon, news crews gathered outside of Carzis’ business, Peter’s Men’s Apparel on La Mesa Boulevard, to speak to him after reports surfaced of lewd acts occurring outside of the store over the weekend.

RELATED: VIDEO: Businessman attacks reporters

However, as cameras rolled, Carzis was seen cursing at the crowd before attacking a news photographer and slapping a phone out of a reporter’s hand. Carzis then walked into his store.

Police said Carzis caused “irreparable damage to a video camera reported to be worth approximately $7,000.”

According to police, Carzis "is also the suspect in two other reported crimes, a misdemeanor battery and a misdemeanor lewd act in public" that occurred on Jan. 18 in front of his store.

RELATED: Police looking into harassment claims at local business

That alleged incident was captured on video, and a snapshot appeared to show a man with his hands up a woman’s shirt.

Addie Pastore and her husband claim they were assaulted by Carzis over the weekend. They were walking past Peter's when Pastore said Carzis spit at her husband.

Not even 24 hours later, Pastore discovered the viral video showing him attacking news crews.

Despite all of that, she said she feels sorry for Carzis and added, “I wish him no harm. I wish him all the help he needs to get better. And there are people who care about him. But, no one deserves to be terrorized.”

10News reporter Mimi Elkalla spoke with Carzis on Monday and he seemed to laugh off the situation regarding the lewd video. He said he knew it was inappropriate but didn't see what the big deal was and claimed the woman came onto him.

Police said they plan to submit the reports to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office recommending prosecution of all charges.