Citing self defense, DA won’t charge Lakewood planning commissioner with shooting stepson

A Lakewood planning commissioner won’t be charged with a crime for shooting his stepson in the leg after he was “almost beaten to unconsciousness” by the stepson, prosecutors decided earlier this month.

Robert Quarto, 62, shot his 32-year-old stepson on Sept. 19 after the stepson threatened to kill him, according to a Nov. 15 memo from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.

The decision not to press charges was first reported by the Press-Telegram, which noted that Quarto’s wife Linda also serves on the Community Safety Commission and that the couple owns Foggia Italian Market & Deli in Lakewood.

The memo says the stepson has a history of attacking Quarto and assaulted him about half an hour before the shooting.

Quarto was able to run out of the house where the attack was happening, but when the two came into contact again, the stepson threatened to kill Quarto, prompting Quarto to shoot him twice in the knee to stop him from getting any closer, according to the memo.

Jail records show Quarto was arrested that night and later released on $50,000 bail, but the memo said authorities concluded Quarto should not be charged.

“Suspect fired two bullets in self defense and not to kill, at victim’s legs,” it says in part.

The memo noted that both Quarto and his stepson should have both been arrested that night because there was an element of mutual combat.

It wasn’t clear if charges were ever considered or filed against the stepson. His name was redacted in the memo.

Lakewood officials couldn’t be immediately reached at City Hall, which is closed on alternating Fridays. A message left with an employee at the family’s business wasn’t immediately returned.

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Jeremiah Dobruck is the breaking news editor for the Long Beach Post. He began his journalism career in 2007 as an intern at Palos Verdes Peninsula News and has worked for The Forum Newsgroup in New York City, the Daily Pilot and the Press-Telegram. He lives in Torrance with his wife, Lindsey, and their two young children.