HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA.com) – A Huntington Beach restaurant manager is fighting for his life after he was badly assaulted by two suspects overnight Friday.
The attack occurred at 1 a.m. Saturday in the 300 block of Pacific Coast Highway. According to witnesses, the incident began when 33-year-old Garret Peterson, a manager at Thunder Burgrz & Pizza located at 126 Main St., refused to give free pizza to two men who demanded he do so.
When he went outside to take a break, Huntington Beach police say he got into a physical altercation with the suspects that left him unconscious.
A security guard who works nearby told CBS2 Sunday he saw Peterson lying on the ground and rushed over to help.
“When I got up there, I saw Garret was already laid out,” security guard James Monin said.
Monin also spotted one of the suspects.
“One of the guys that was involved was trying to walk away so I grabbed him,” Monin said.
Peterson was taken to Hoag Hospital Newport Beach, where he remains in an induced coma Sunday.
“He is still in an induced coma at this moment,” Peterson’s roommate Katelin Randall told CBS2 Sunday.
“I went and saw him last night,” coworker Christine Roy said. “I’ve never seen somebody like this.”
Meanwhile, police responded and arrested the two suspects. In a news release Sunday, Huntington police identified the suspects as 21-year-old Bryce Anthony Mezich and 22-year-old Austin Wright Callan, both of Anaheim. Mezich faces one count each of assault with serious bodily injury, a felony, and fighting in public. Callan faces one count of fighting in public.
“The condition he is in, I think it should be attempted murder,” friend Juhl Floyd said.
Police are still investigating the case. Anyone with information should call police at 714-536-5951.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Peterson with his medical bills. To donate, click here.