Possible Charges (crime)

The Shasta County district attorney's office is weighing the possible filing of assault and hate crime charges against a Shasta Lake man who allegedly attacked an 18-year-old Native American boy last month.

Family members say the man also threatened the teen and his mother with a firearm while screaming racial and obscene slurs at them.

Kelly Kafel, senior deputy district attorney, said Friday she is continuing to review a case submitted by the Shasta County sheriff's office that recommends criminal charges be filed against Charles Petrisevac, 36.

But Kafel said she has asked sheriff's officials for more information, and also is likely to ask a DA investigator to conduct a separate probe before deciding whether to prosecute him.

"We want to be thorough," she said.

Petrisevac has an unlisted telephone number and could not be reached Friday for comment.

April Carmelo, 45, who wants the case to be prosecuted as a hate crime and recently went before the Shasta Lake City Council to discuss it, alleges in court records that her son, Sage Frank, was assaulted by Petrisevac on the night of Aug. 23 as he was skateboarding with his two cousins outside their Shasta Lake home.

In a civil harassment restraining order she obtained against Petrisevac, Carmelo claims her son was "sucker punched" by their neighbor, who repeatedly yelled "white power" and threatened to kill them both.

Petrisevac denied the statements made by Carmelo in her declaration for the restraining order but did not object to it, electronic court documents show.

According to court documents, Frank said he was skateboarding with his cousins when he saw a man, whom he described as drunk, walking his dog and yelling obscene racial insults at him.

A verbal confrontation broke out, with Frank saying the man "sucker-punches me in my left eye and takes off running."

Frank wrote in his declaration that he chased after him and threw his skateboard at him but missed.

According to his and his mother's written statements, Carmelo arrived in her sport utility vehicle after Petrisevac had run inside his Lassen Street home only to come out with a rifle or shotgun.

As Petrisevac told Frank to run away, again using a racial epithet, Carmelo drove her SUV between the pair to better separate them, Frank said in a written statement to the court.

"He then points his gun at my mom and is yelling 'white power' and threatening to shoot her," he wrote.

A neighbor, he said, also joined in yelling "white power" and Frank left after being ordered to do so by his mother.

Shasta County sheriff's deputies later arrived but did not arrest Petrisevac, much to the annoyance of Carmelo and her family.

Her husband, Cameron Frank, is a write-in candidate in the November Shasta Lake City Council election.

Sheriff's captain Forrest Bartell, who disagrees with family assertions that deputies did next to nothing at the scene, said no arrests were made because of conflicting information provided by both sides. "There was too much confusion," he said. "There were too many conflicting statements to hook people up."

But deputies reinterviewed those involved the next day and submitted their report to the district attorney's office that night, recommending the prosecution of Petrisevac and that a hate crime be considered, Bartell said.

"To say there was nothing done is 180 degrees from the truth," he said.

Nevertheless, Carmelo said she was stunned when she saw Petrisevac jogging past her home the morning after the incident.

"When I looked at him in surprise of the fact he wasn't in jail, he pushed out his chest and said 'yeh' (and) then ran off," she wrote.