Man arrested after Canesa deli owner stabbed outside Clayton shop

Tamara Steiner photo.

CLAYTON, CA (June 29, 2024) – John Canesa is recovering after being stabbed outside of his downtown deli about 1 p.m. June 25.

According to his wife Priscilla, Canesa was stabbed six times outside Canesa’s Brooklyn Heros in the Town Center at Oak and Main Streets. When police arrived, they arrested 45-year-old Peter Kerns of Concord. Emergency services transported a lucid Canesa to John Muir Medical Center.

Priscilla said Kerns, a customer at the time, was acting erratically and confronting workers and customers. Eventually, Canesa stepped outside of his deli and got in a fight with Kerns.

Priscilla acknowledges that the scene took a personal turn when Kerns verbally assaulted their teenage daughter. “The customer was very aggressive and antagonistic toward my daughter Gianna, who was taking orders from the front window,” she said.

Priscilla says Kerns was causing a large disturbance and harassing everyone in the area. “He was also yelling into the deli at John and being purposefully disruptive to our customers and place of business,” she added, noting that Kerns’ actions led to a tense moment for everyone involved.

The incident culminated in the altercation in which the 44-year-old Canesa was stabbed.

Although reports indicated Canesa was awake and talking when he was taken to the hospital, his wife said he was still in “no condition to speak” about the matter to the Pioneer two days after the incident.

A public records search showed that Kerns was arrested at least once before but offered no information on what led to his arrest in that case.

Canesa’s Brooklyn Heros moved from Concord to its Main Street location in 2012.  The deli  is closed until July 2 while Canesa recovers. They will return with normal business hours, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Read more stories by Vince Martellacci.

Vince Martellacci
Vince Martellacci

Vince Martellacci is a somewhat new resident of Clayton who loves to spend time in the town center and in Concord. He represents musicians across the Bay Area in the media when he’s not writing. Contact him at