Huntington Beach pizza parlor employee beaten

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- A Huntington Beach restaurant employee was badly beaten, and his friends say the brutal attack happened because the victim wouldn't give the suspects free food.

Police found the 33-year old-victim, identified by friends as Garret Peterson, unconscious in the 300 block of Pacific Coast Highway early Saturday morning after receiving a report about a fight in the area.

Peterson, who works at Thunder Burgrz Pizza in the 100 block of Main Street, was rushed to an area hospital with a serious head injury.

Investigators took 21-year-old Bryce Mezich and 22-year-old Austin Callan into custody.

Peterson's friends set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for medical bills.

Co-worker Christopher Hennings said the beating stemmed from Peterson not giving the suspects a free pizza. The suspects apparently waited outside for him, pulled him in to an alley and beat him up, Hennings said.

Peterson's co-workers told Eyewitness News that Thunder Burgrz Pizza is staying closed for some time, because most of the employees are at the hospital with Peterson.

Police have yet to confirm the cause of the assault. If you have any relevant information, you're urged to contact Huntington Beach police at (714) 536-5951.
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