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August 23, 2019

News:

2015 San Pedro Prep Softball Preview -

Friday, May 1, 2015

Art Preview: ‘Non-Native’ by Ingrid Dietrich -

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

San Pedro Prep Baseball 2015 Preview -

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Recapping The Final Gaffey Street Community Workshop -

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tiffany Torres Bears Down For Success At POLA High -

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

San Pedro Fish Market Launches Scholarship Contest -

Thursday, January 15, 2015

San Pedro’s Rita Fiorenza Is A Basketball Revelation -

Thursday, January 15, 2015

‘No Lane Reductions’ As Gaffey Street Redevelopment Plans Move Forward -

Friday, January 9, 2015

San Pedro Prep Sports 2014 Fall Review -

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

LAPD Harbor Division and Philie B’s Pizza To Host Charity Events This Weekend -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

San Pedro Holiday Parade Returns Sunday with a Twist -

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Winter Wonderland Comes To The Waterfront -

Monday, December 1, 2014

One-Way Streets May Come to Downtown San Pedro -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

San Pedro’s Two Newest Volleyball Skyscrapers: Allison Kittell & Tracy Folchi -

Monday, November 10, 2014

San Pedro and POLA Prep Girls Cross-Country Preview: Running For More Glory -

Thursday, November 6, 2014

International Craft Beer Festival Comes to Crafted This Weekend -

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Second Workshop for Urban Greening Project Receives Warm Reception from Community -

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Construction of Mixed-Use Apartment Complex on Gaffey Could Begin Next Spring -

Thursday, September 25, 2014

UPDATE: Blaze Inside Port of L.A. in Wilmington Nearly Contained; Air Quality Deemed ‘Safe’ -

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

San Pedro High Football Off To Another Strong Start -

Monday, September 22, 2014

UPDATED: 78-Year-Old San Pedro Man Arrested in Elks Lodge Arson

The Elks Lodge fire on Tuesday, April 15. (photo: Chris Villanueva)

Nick Pecarich

Nick Pecarich

Authorities arrested 78-year-old Nick Pecarich of San Pedro today in the arson fire that destroyed most of the San Pedro Elks Lodge in the early hours of April 15.

Pecarich, a retired longshoreman who was born in Croatia, was arrested this afternoon and will be charged with felony arson. His bail was set at $500,000. For the past week he was in a psychiatric ward under evaluation.

Pecarich, who was an Elks Lodge member, was arrested on April 16 on two separate felony vandalism charges and released the following day after posting $20,000 bond. He has no prior criminal record.

LAPD Harbor Division detectives said the April 16 arrest was unrelated to the Elks Lodge fire, but involved a separate incident in his neighborhood.

Pecarich’s [April 16] arrest also led us to evidence in a hit-and-run accident in San Pedro and stolen trailer with the boat attached, also taken in San Pedro,” LAPD Detective Helen Papietro told the Beacon in an email.

Pecarich had allegedly been acting out in his neighborhood and making threats in recent months. Sources said there was growing concern that he was becoming dangerous and on a path of destruction.

According to family members, some of Pecarich’s erratic behavior may be attributed to a tumultuous home life in recent years. One of his two sons died in 2007 from complications with Multiple Sclerosis and his only daughter passed away in January 2013 from brain cancer. His wife has also battled cancer in the past, but is currently in remission.

The arrest comes a week after the owner of a Chevron station on Western Avenue told arson investigators that a man was seen on surveillance video filling a gas tank and purchasing a lighter just before 2:30 a.m. the morning of the fire.

“I went back and looked at my tape and it was pretty obvious that somebody was filling up a gas can and they bought a lighter,” said owner Bill Michaelis.

The Beacon obtained a photograph believed to be of the bed of Pecarich’s pick-up truck taken by a resident who asked to remain anonymous. In the photo, there is a red gas can, a shovel, hammer and rope. There are also shards of glass that are believed to be from the hit and run accident at Via Dolce coffee shop on Western Ave., which Pecarich allegedly caused.

Michaelis said the man was a regular customer at his gas station and chatted with the employee at the register when he made the purchase. “You would’ve thought everything was perfectly normal,” he said.

He also confirmed that the man’s vehicle was a pick-up truck. Elks Lodge Vice President John Stammreich told the Beacon that a pick-up truck slammed into an air conditioning unit at the lodge two days before the arson, when a small brush fire was set in the lower parking lot.

Councilman Joe Buscaino will hold a press conference at 3 p.m. today in front of the charred remains of the San Pedro Elks Lodge. More updates to come.

UPDATE: Pecarich will be arraigned May 9 and officials are not releasing his booking photo.

At this afternoon’s press conference, Los Angeles Fire Department officials said Pecarich was arrested “without incident” and is being held on $500,000 bail. His arrest was a joint effort between the LAFD Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section, LAPD Criminal Conspiracy Section detectives and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The District Attorney has yet to press charges against Pecarich.

Officials said since the investigation is ongoing, they would not answer questions about the case. As to where the arrest took place, they only confirmed that it occurred within city limits.

“We have a strong town that comes together and unites and won’t put up with any criminal nonsense,” Buscaino said.

Elks Lodge Exalted Ruler Jose Chavez thanked investigators for their work and the community for its support in the aftermath of the fire. “We will rebuild and we will be the jewel of Elkdom once again,” he said.

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