La Mesa business owner charged for altercation and committing lewd acts in public

LA MESA (KUSI) – La Mesa business owner Peter Carzis, who was captured on video in a physical altercation with members of the San Diego media, as well as committing an alleged lewd act with a woman on the sidewalk outside his clothing store, was charged Thursday with felony vandalism and misdemeanor counts of battery and committing a lewd act in public.

Carzis, 76, the owner of Peter’s Men’s Apparel on La Mesa Boulevard, is slated to be arraigned on Feb. 24 for allegedly attacking news reporters and photographers who were attempting to interview him outside his business regarding other alleged crimes.

The news crews gathered in front of the business Monday regarding a video posted on the “La Mesa Happenings” Facebook page.

The video appeared to show a man, alleged to be Carzis, with his hands up a woman’s shirt outside the store. Carzis also allegedly spit at a man outside the business on Saturday afternoon, La Mesa police Lt. Greg Runge said.

On Sunday night, the La Mesa Police Department said in a Twitter post 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, videos shot by local news outlets showed him cursing at reporters, shoving a cameraman and slapping a phone out of a KUSI reporter’s hand before walking back into his store. No injuries were reported, but Carzis allegedly caused “irreparable damage” to the videographer’s camera, valued at about $7,000, Runge said.

Police responded to the scene, but Carzis had fled, Runge said. He was arrested Tuesday morning in San Diego, but has since been released from custody.

After the this week’s incidents, La Mesa residents gathered for a rare community forum to remind themselves why their city is called “The Jewel of the Hills.”

Categories: Local San Diego News