Prosecutors announced Thursday they plan to retry a Los Angeles firefighter and his mother on charges they beat a woman feeding stray cats in the West Adams district after she threw cat kibble at him during a verbal altercation.
Jurors deadlocked last month on the charges against Ian Justin Eulian and did not vote on the count against Lonieta Fontaine, leading to a mistrial.
Eulian, 38, is charged with one felony count each of battery with serious bodily injury and assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury. His 71-year-old mother is charged with one count of accessory after the fact.
A pretrial hearing was set for Nov. 26.
Eulian and his mother deny assaulting the 47-year-old woman just after midnight Sept. 14, 2013. But a surveillance camera captured the blows delivered by the pair to the victim, prosecutors said.
Eulian, who was off duty at the time, approached the woman, who was in her parked car in the 2500 block of West View Street in Los Angeles, about 12:20 a.m. and began a verbal altercation, according to prosecutors.
He then allegedly leaned into the victim’s car and yelled at her about her feeding stray cats. The victim then “threw small pieces of cat kibble at Eulian to push him back, and he allegedly punched her,” prosecutors said.
Eulian’s attorney, Robert Schwartz, said his client was actually trying to protect his mother during the confrontation.
“There was more to the case than just the video,” Schwartz said after the mistrial was declared.
— City News Service
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