Altercation in Mount Dora Parking Lot Lands “Pastor Pete” in Jail  

MOUNT DORA, Florida—A Tavares man known as “Pastor Pete” was arrested Thursday after a man he got into several arguments with accused him of throwing a box cutter through the man’s open SUV window, injuring his ear, according to an arrest affidavit.

Pedro “Pastor Pete” Custodio, 52, of Tavares, was identified by the victim as the man he argued with in the parking lot of Lowe’s, 18795 U.S. Highway 441, Mount Dora shortly before 10 p.m. Thursday. The victim told police Custodio argued with him in the parking lot and approached his vehicle. At one point someone from Custodio’s vehicle threw something at the victim’s grey SUV and it shattered the back window, according to the affidavit.

Custodio continued arguing with the victim, he told police, and Custodio threw a box cutter through the victim’s open driver’s side window, and it injured his left ear, the affidavit states. Custodio returned to his vehicle and the victim followed his vehicle to get license plate information, he told police. Another altercation ensued, and Custodio is alleged to have punched the victim’s SUV near the headlight; the victim told Mount Dora Police he feared for his life, called for help and continued to follow Custodio’s vehicle.

The first altercation was captured on Lowe’s video surveillance, but the second one was obscured by trees, according to the affidavit.

The victim lost Custodio in Eustis and MDPD caught up with the victim on Old Mount Dora Road. They stopped at a nearby dealership and Custodio was identified by Eustis Police Department, according to the affidavit. Custodio admitted throwing the box cutter through the window and he was arrested for throwing a deadly missile into an occupied vehicle and transported to the Lake County Jail, where he was released on $15,000 bond.

In June 2020, Custodio was arrested for battery on a disabled adult and driving while license suspended. In that incident he was accused of battering a resident of the “quasi group home” he ran in Tavares. He claimed self defense and when Tavares Police officers asked why he did not call 9-1-1, he reportedly said, “(Expletive) you, if I hit you, you’d shoot me because that’s all cops do.”

The charge was dropped later that year after the victim could not be located, according to an announcement of no information document filed in the case.

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