He may be better known as Benny 'The Jet' Rodriguez in the 1993 childhood classic, The Sandlot, but the lovable reputation Michael Anthony Vitar earned for himself via this role has changed dramatically following a brutal assault on a 22-year-old man this halloween.
After also starring in the two Mighty Ducks sequels, D2 and D3, Vitar left the acting world to begin a career as a Los Angeles city firefighter, and was off duty and attending a halloween party when the attack took place.
According to a statement from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, 47-year-old Vitar was joined by colleague Eric Carpenter and neighbor, Thomas Molnar, who all allegedly became "upset when a 22-year-old man visiting his grandmother in the area was handing out candy to kids as he walked down the street."
The report continued:
“After chasing the victim down the street, the three defendants reportedly jumped him. They then allegedly forced the victim to the ground before Carpenter choked him, according to the prosecutor.”
The three men now face up to four years in prison each after being charged with assault following delivering injuries likely to cause great bodily harm. Carpenter’s attorney, Michael Goldstein, claims that the incident sprung out of concern for the children of the neighborhood, supposedly based on the 22-year-olds 'unusual behavior.'
“It was a relatively simple incident … that escalated based on unusual behavior by the alleged victim. Eric Carpenter is in the business of saving lives, so when you’re in that business you kind of have a heightened sense of alert.”
The case goes to court January 21st.