Restaurant employee badly beaten and unconscious in Huntington; 2 men arrested

Two men were arrested in Huntington Beach after police found a restaurant employee badly beaten and unconscious on Pacific Coast Highway.

Huntington Beach police officers were called about a fight in the 300 block of Pacific Coast Highway shortly before 1 a.m. Saturday, police said.

They found an employee of Thunder Burgrz and Pizza, at 126 Main St., unconscious with a serious head injury, police said. Witnesses told officers that the employee and two men had been fighting, police said.

Police did not elaborate about what led to the fight.

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However, a GoFundMe page set up to raise money for the man, identified by friends as Garret Peterson, says two men beat him after he refused to give them free pizza. The site had raised more than $10,400 as of Tuesday afternoon.

“They waited outside for him, pulled him into an alley and almost beat him to death,” according to the GoFundMe page, created by Katelin Randall, 26, who described herself as Garret’s friend and roommate. “He had emergency brain surgery at Hoag Hospital with a large piece of his skull being removed and the rest of his brain severely bruised and damaged.”

Randall described Garret as “a giant teddy bear ... the definition of a ladies’ man and a gentleman.”

She wrote that he grew up in the Newport Beach area and had lived in Huntington Beach and Costa Mesa for about the past 10 years.

“He is always there to help when someone needs it. He is strong and independent and kind,” she wrote.

Randall did not immediately respond to a message seeking further comment.

Bryce Anthony Mezich, 21, of Anaheim was arrested on suspicion of assault with serious bodily injury and fighting in public. He was released from jail Saturday night after posting bond.

Austin Wright Callan, 22, also of Anaheim, was arrested on suspicion of fighting in public. His status was unclear.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Huntington Beach Police Department at (714) 536-5951.

hannah.fry@latimes.com

Twitter: @HannahFryTCN

Copyright © 2017, Daily Pilot

Update

This story was originally posted at 1:25 p.m. March 13.

It was updated at 3:10 p.m. March 14 with Garret Peterson's full name, additional comments from Katelin Randall and an updated fundraising amount.

 

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