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Photo by John Schreiber.

A Los Angeles Police Department officer pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges stemming from a mysterious alleged off-duty attack on three men in El Segundo last year.

Joseph William Rooney, 33, could face up to 27 years in state prison if convicted of four counts of assault with a firearm, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The alleged victims, whose names were not released, had just left a bar in the 100 block of Main Street and were standing outside a nearby restaurant when Rooney approached them on May 22, 2016, according to Deputy District Attorney Oscar Plascencia.

Rooney allegedly pulled out a handgun, pointed it at one of the men and struck him in the face with the weapon, then pointed it at the other two men, the prosecutor said.

What precipitated Rooney’s alleged actions, and whether he knew the men, was unclear.

There was no immediate word on Rooney’s status with the LAPD.

–City News Service

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