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California store owner caught on video attacking reporters is charged with battery

Peter Carzis is accused of "battering multiple reporters" during the "well-publicized altercation" outside his store Monday, police said.
IMAGE: Peter Carzis shoves a journalist
Peter Carzis, owner of Peter's Men's Apparel in La Mesa, California, shoves a journalist on Monday, Jan. 20, 2020.KUSI-TV

A California man was arrested Tuesday on vandalism and battery charges after he was recorded on camera Monday attacking journalists outside his business in La Mesa, police said.

Peter Carzis, 76, of La Mesa, east of San Diego, is accused of "battering multiple reporters" during the "well-publicized altercation with members of the media" who tried to interview him outside his store, Peter's Men's Apparel, La Mesa police said.

The reporters had gathered to question Carzis about his alleged harassment of female customers, NBC San Diego reported. Police said Sunday that they were investigating a video posted in a Facebook group over the weekend that was recorded outside of Peter's Men's Apparel.

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Carzis appears to push at least two cameramen and to shout obscenities at the journalists outside his store Monday in videos that have been posted on Twitter and widely shared online.

"You're a bada--? Show me how bad you are, motherf-----," Carzis told a cameraman.

La Mesa police canvassed the area in search of Carzis near his store late into Monday night after videos of the incident were posted online. He was found early Tuesday.

He will be booked into the San Diego County Jail after being medically cleared, police said.

Carzis is the suspect in two crimes — a battery and a lewd act in public — that occurred Saturday outside his store, Lt. Greg Runge said.