The following story was previously published on Lake Legal News.
TAVARES, Florida — A local man known as “Pastor Pete” who runs a “quasi group home” in Tavares was arrested Thursday for allegedly battering one of his tenants and driving with a suspended license.
Tavares Police Department responded to 1404 East Alfred Street Thursday afternoon after a man reported Pedro “Pastor Pete” Custodio, 50, battered him. The victim, who is deaf and has mental impairments, communicated to police he was lying on his bed and Custodio entered his bedroom, pulled him off the bed and hit him “all over,” according to an arrest affidavit.
Custodio told police the victim “smelled and dirty feet,” and he saw his feet on the mattress and went to move them. He said as he attempted to put a comforter under the victim’s feet the victim kicked him and, “At that time I had a right to defend myself, so I [expletive] him up.”
Lake EMS responded to the scene to check the victim out.
Police asked why he did not call 9-1-1 instead of attacking a mentally impaired person, and Custodio allegedly responded, “[Expletive] you, if I hit you, you’d shoot me because that’s all cops do.”
After giving Custodio time to cool off, police asked for his driver license and he said, “[Expletive] you, I’m not giving you [expletive.]” Another officer familiar with Custodio provided his name to dispatch as Custodio got into a white minivan and attempted to back out and maneuver around fire department, EMS and police vehicles.
Dispatch informed officers Custodio has a suspended license and he was removed from the van and taken into custody.
“Mr. Custodio’s blatant disregard for his actions in the battery and mistreatment of someone allegedly in his care is something our department will not tolerate,” said Tavares Police Lt. Sarah Coursey.
Custodio is facing a charge of battery on a disabled adult and driving while license suspended, third or subsequent conviction — both felonies. He was released from the Lake County Jail on $10,000 bond.