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Former 'Sandlot' Star Turned L.A. Firefighter Charged With Assault
Two off-duty L.A. firefighters—one of whom starred in The Sandlot as a youth—and another man have all been charged with attacking a 22-year-old man on Halloween.
Eric Carpenter, 38; Michael Anthony Vitar, 36; and Thomas Molnar, 45, have been charged with one count each of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, according to a release from the L.A. County District Attorney's Office. Carpenter has also been charged with personally inflicting great bodily injury on the victim.
Carpenter, who works a Los Angeles firefighter, was throwing a party on Halloween. Vitar, also a firefighter, and Molnar, Carpenter's neighbor, both attended. The three men became enraged when they spotted a 22-year-old man—whose grandmother lived in the area—handing out candy to children as he walked around the neighborhood.
The three men allegedly chased the man down and threw him to the ground. Carpenter is accused of then choking him.
If convicted, Carpenter could face up to seven years in prison, while Vitar and Molnar could each face four years in prison. According to TMZ, the men were arrested last week, and Vitar was released on a $30,000 bail. Both Vitar and Carpenter have been put on administrative leave with pay until the case has finished.
Vital starred as Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez in The Sandlot, and as Luis Mendoza in D2: The Mighty Ducks and D3: The Mighty Ducks. Vitar quit showbiz in 1997 and became a firefighter with LAFD in 2002.