Wanted man arrested after disturbing peace, police say
Lake Havasu City Police officers responded to a Swanson Avenue restaurant Jan. 3 after receiving reports of a customer involved in a physical altercation with one of the restaurant’s staff.
According to witness statements, Lake Havasu City resident Rocco A. Perla, 37, had been on the restaurant for about 45 minutes when he began creating a disturbance, the report said. Perla was asked to leave, and allegedly attempted to engage the manager physically. Witnesses said Perla told them he was a sergeant in the U.S. Army, and threatened staff members before shouting racial slurs throughout the fully-occupied restaurant.
Perla allegedly left the restaurant, and was located by officers at a nearby gas station. He was arrested on charges of creating a disturbance, and transported to Lake Havasu City Police Department for further questioning.
Perla told officers he had three drinks that afternoon, the report said. He allegedly stated that one of the staff members started the altercation after he attempted to help another customer who spilled her drink. Perla told officers he was pushed by a staff member, and was told to leave. He went to collect his laptop computer, Perla allegedly told officers, he may have shouted profanities after a staff member threw his computer on the ground.
According to the report, Perla admitted to shouting racial slurs at one staff member, which he argued was within his freedom of speech. The subject of his racial slur was Caucasian.
Perla allegedly showed visible signs of intoxication while he was questioned, and a portable breath test recorded his blood-alcohol concentration to be 0.102, according to the report.
A records check later showed Perla to be wanted on non-extraditable warrants in California on charges of burglary, larceny, failure to appear in court and theft. He was also wanted by the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office on charges of theft of a means of transportation.
Perla was booked into Mohave County Jail and held for court.