updated 10/25/2006 9:08:41 PM ET 2006-10-26T01:08:41

A shopkeeper got so angry about the way a man had parked his car that he climbed into a forklift, placed the fork under the car and lifted it off the ground, police said Wednesday.

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Wasek Safrah, 51, of Ossining, also punched out both the offending car and the man who parked it, said Lt. Brian Karst of the Carmel police. He was arrested on charges of criminal mischief and assault.

Karst said the episode began at about 5 p.m. Oct. 16 at a strip mall on Route 6 in Mahopac. Safrah felt the car, though legally parked, was blocking his access to a storage container or trash bin and got into a heated argument with the driver, who was an employee of another store and was no longer in the car. Police did not release that man's name.

The police report, issued Tuesday night, says Safrah then punched the side of the vehicle, denting it. Then he took the controls of a forklift in the parking lot, maneuvered its lifting mechanism under the car and lifted it upward. The car was not moved out of the parking spot, however.

"We don't know what his intention was," Karst said.

Karst said he did not know who owned the forklift, but it probably belonged to another of the businesses.

After lifting the car, Safrah allegedly punched the driver in the mouth. The victim was injured but not seriously, Karst said.

The car was eventually lowered from the forklift.

Safrah was released pending an appearance in Carmel Town Court, still to be scheduled. Neither the police nor the court had information on who might represent him. There was no phone listing under his name in Ossining.

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