Lt. Dennis Young of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office told the Outpost this morning that the incident occurred at a Redway business way back in December of 2016.
In the video above, Phone and Computer Guys storekeeper Peter Meixl is sitting at his work desk when a customer, Devine Von Tate, returns to the store to pick up his laptop.
“[Another computer store] gave Tate information that made him think he wasn’t going to get his computer fixed appropriately at the first place,” Young said. “According to Tate, he went back and Meixl hadn’t done any work on it; although it was plugged in behind the counter. Tate went to unplug it and Meixl stated he needed to pay for it. They got into a verbal argument.”
In the video, which has several jump cuts, Tate can be heard asking for his computer back, while Meixl demands a payment of $49. Tate becomes frustrated and walks behind the sales counter to unplug his laptop charger.
Meixl quickly snatches up the laptop before the customer can get his hands on it, and after some brief pushing, he cocks it back like a baseball bat.
“You want it? You want it?” Meixl says.
After several minutes of arguing Meixl pulls a can of bear mace out from behind the counter, and when Tate takes a step towards him, Meixl unloads a flurry of bright orange mace mist right into Tate’s face.
In a separate video, Meixl reviews the bear mace and recounts the situation.
Meixl reviews the quality of the mace and recalls the incident.
“I sprayed the guy and his hat went flying off it has so much power,” Meixl said. “Then I kicked him out, gave him a good shove. There was overspray in the air, it went right in my eyes, and I got the door shut and I didn’t want to touch him because he was just covered in [mace].”
Meixl goes on to say that it was hard for him to work out of the store for the next few days due to the amount of mace lingering in the air.
“I’m stupid for spraying it inside for one; I was excited I wanted to try it out,” he says in the video. “Plus the guy was being a major dick and I didn’t just wanna beat his ass. You can’t just beat everyone up, you can mace them every once in awhile if you ask me.”
A YouTube commenter using Tate’s name and claiming to be giving an “OFFICIAL VICTIM STATEMENT IN REGARDS TO THIS VIDEO POST,” responded to the video with their own long-winded account of the event.
“I told him that he was trying to rob me and that he should not conduct business in such a way, and if he had in fact did any work I would have no issues paying him,” the comment reads. “He then proceeded to pull out the can of Bear Mace. I put my hand up in protection stating that he should think this through and he would go to jail.”
Although officers were called to the scene, Lt. Young told the Outpost that no one was arrested following the incident.
“He then proceeded to mace me and pummel me out of his store where I remained until authorities arrived,” the comment goes on. “I ended up in the emergency room that evening due to eye irritation and blurred vision. This was a very unfortunate and embarrassing situation and will continue to seek justice in this matter.”
Young said that officers advised Meixl to contact the district attorney’s office he wished to pursue prosecution, but was unaware if either party had taken legal action since.