WESTMORELAND COUNTY (KDKA) — A 22-year-old man is accused of body-slamming a 16-year-old girl at the Westmoreland Mall.
The girl told police the man attacked her because she is overweight.
State Police say 22-year-old Tyler Zidek is charged with strangulation and assault after he allegedly assaulted the teen inside the Westmoreland Mall on Dec. 27, 2019.
According to witnesses, Zidek attacked the teenager after first making fun and insulting how she looked.
“He picked her up by the neck and body-slammed her to the ground,” State Trooper Stephen Limani said.
Investigators say Zidek, who has a criminal history, was with a group of juveniles and ran from the mall after the incident.
A surveillance camera captured an image of the man troopers said is Zidek.
Tips to officials resulted in Zidek being charged. The victim suffered minor injuries.
Zidek contacted KDKA’s Ross Guidotti and said the victim took a swing at him. He said he then ducked the punch and the girl fell, and he’s done nothing wrong.
“There is no indication that she had any physical aggression toward him,” Limani said.
In 2016, Zidek spent time in jail after he pleaded guilty to the dissemination of sexually explicit images to a minor.
He’s free, awaiting his preliminary arraignment.