The manager of a pizza shop in California was beaten into a coma after he refused to give away free food.

Garret Peterson was found by the Huntington Beach Police unconscious after they received a police report.

The 33-year-old manager of Thunder Burgrz & Pizza in the early hours of the morning turned away two men demanding a free pie, who then allegedly assaulted Peterson when he stepped outside for a break around 1 a.m.

A security guard spotted Peterson on the ground and rushed over to help.

“When I got there, I saw Garret was already laid out,” James Monin told CBS. “One of the guys that was involved was trying to walk away so I grabbed him.”

Peterson was rushed to Hoag Hospital at Newport Beach, where he was put in a medically induced coma.

Peterson “can talk a little bit but he is very aggressive and they have to keep putting him under,” his long-time friend Katelin Randall wrote in an update Monday, noting it was still “very good news.

Police arrested Bryce Anthony Mezich, 21, and 22-year-old Austin Wright Callan and charged them shortly after the assault. Mezich was charged with one count of assault with serious bodily injury — a felony — and battery on a person as well as fighting in public. Callan faces one count of battery and one of fighting in public, police told the newspaper.

 

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