Local News

Barbecue get-together ends with battery charges

SEBRING -A barbecue get-together among friends apparently ended with a burglary accusation against the wrong people, who were also reportedly roughed up, with two others now facing aggravated battery charges, authorities state. David Lozano and James Zabach are both facing aggravated battery charges, according to the Highlands County Sheriff's Office. Lozano is also being charged with possession of a weapon by a convicted felon in relation to the July 13 incident. The victim and her boyfriend told the Highlands County Sheriff's Office that they had a barbecue at their home July 13. Those who attended were Lozano, Zabach, a third woman, along with two other people not identified in the report, who were reportedly the ones who burglarized Lozano's home, the report states.
When the barbecue ended and they left for home, Zabach told authorities that Lozano found his home had been broken into, the report states, and Lozano said he was going to make some calls to find out who did it. A short time later, the victims reportedly arrived at a Sun 'n Lake home where Lozano and Zabach were also present, the sheriff's office states, when the two accosted them. The female victim told authorities that Lozano grabbed her by the hair and forced her to the ground. He was reportedly armed with a "Uzi" style firearm, she said, and "shot" and struck her in the head with the weapon, she added. Her boyfriend, who was sitting in the car, told authorities he was approached by Lozano, who struck him in the head with the firearm, the report states. Lozano was demanding that the male victim tell him the location of his stolen belongings, the arrest report states. While the male victim told authorities that Zabach was armed with a large revolver, Zabach said later he was not armed and that he had placed his hand under his shirt and acted like he had a firearm, the arrest report adds. While authorities were investigating social network sites, Zabach was seen in a photograph holding a Uzi-type weapon, the report adds. While authorities initially made contact with the female victim in an emergency room on her complaint that she had been shot in the head, the report states that she suffered from a circular puncture wound to the back of her head, and her injuries were not consistent with being shot. The male victim had a laceration and red bruises and one of abrasions looked like he was struck with the muzzle of a firearm, the report states. Meanwhile, the two suspects believed to have committed the burglary had left the barbecue earlier in the night, the report adds. Both Lozano and Zabach remained in Highlands County Jail as of press time Monday, jail records show. Lozano denied being involved, the report adds.