The La Mesa store owner charged with assaulting reporters outside of the men’s clothing store he owns has been in frequent contact with police over the past several years.
Police have been called to Peter’s Men’s Apparel located at 8239 La Mesa Boulevard in downtown La Mesa a total of 22 times since 2015, according to public records obtained by NBC 7 Investigates.
NBC 7 submitted the request for police calls following an altercation between store owner Peter Carzis, 76, and reporters who were there to interview him outside his clothing store after reports that Carzis had sexually harassed female shoppers.
Reporters from KUSI recorded the altercation.
Carzis was subsequently arrested and charged with battery on several reporters.
While La Mesa police listed several of the calls as landlord and tenant disputes, others were much more serious.
In October 2017 police records show a shopper called 911 after she said Carzis allegedly “exposed himself inside the store.” The person later declined to press charges and no arrest was made.
The following October, a customer called 911 with accusations that Carzis threatened him during a business dispute.
Calls to police continued in 2019 when police received several reports of “annoying and harassing” conduct at 8239 La Mesa Boulevard.
The calls turned from “annoying” to more serious allegations in August 2019, when La Mesa police were called out to Peter’s Men’s Apparel after a female customer said Carzis approached her inside the store and told her that “she needed to lose weight and touched her arms and stomach,” making her feel “uncomfortable.”
No report was filed, according to LMPD.
Then came the string of calls which lead to the altercation with members of the press.
The first call was made in the afternoon on January 18, 2020 when a husband and wife claimed Carzis was staring at them, or in their words, “mean mugging” them as they walked down the sidewalk. Carzis, according to the police reports, spat on the man’s leg. When confronted, 76-year-old Carzis allegedly tried to fight the man. The man later told police that Carzis appeared “intoxicated.”
Less than an hour later the mother of a juvenile called to report a lewd act in public that her son recorded on his cell phone in front of the store. The video, and accompanying police record, showed Carzis “groping” a woman’s breasts as he sat down in a chair in front of his store. Carzis then lifted the woman’s shirt and engaged in additional sex acts. Police have since forwarded Disorderly Conduct charges on to the District Attorney’s Office.
In response to the report, news crews showed up outside of Peter’s Men’s Apparel in an attempt to interview Carzis. That was when the altercation with reporters occured.
Blue tarps now cover the windows of Peter’s Men’s Apparel in downtown La Mesa. The store has closed and Carzis, according to his girlfriend, has left town as his criminal case moves forward.
Neighboring business owners are happy Carzis is gone.
“He would sit in his chair and harass everyone so they would stop walking over there,” said shop owner Theresa Favro.