2 off-duty LAFD firefighters, including 'Sandlot' actor, charged in Halloween beating

ByABC7.com staff KABC logo
Wednesday, December 9, 2015

LOS ANGELES, CA -- Two off-duty Los Angeles firefighters and another man were charged on Tuesday for assaulting a man who was handing out candy on Halloween.

Eric Carpenter, Michael Vitar and Thomas Molnar were charged with one count each of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury. Carpenter was also charged with personally inflicting great bodily injury on the victim.

Carpenter, 38, and Vitar, 36, are both L.A. city firefighters, and Vitar is a former child actor who appeared in the 1993 film "The Sandlot."

Carpenter was hosting a Halloween party at his Chatsworth home when the three men allegedly became upset with a 22-year-old man handing out candy to kids as he walked down the street.

"After chasing the victim down the street, the three defendants reportedly jumped him. They then allegedly forced the victim to the ground before Carpenter choked him," the L.A. County District Attorney's Office said in a press release.

Prosecutors said the victim was visiting his grandmother in the area.

According to LAFD, Carpenter and Vitar have both been placed on paid leave. Molnar, 45, is Carpenter's neighbor.

If convicted, Carpenter faces up to seven years in state prison, while Vitar and Molnar face up to four years each in state prison.

All three men are scheduled to appear in court for arraignment on Jan. 21.

City News Service contributed to this report.