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Alleged Gang Member's Arraignment On Deadly Weapons Charges

Apolinar Celestino Lopez is charged with one count of assault with a deadly weapon after attacking a homeless man on Venice Beach in December.

Screenshot from the Dec. 13 incident.
Screenshot from the Dec. 13 incident.
By City News Service

An alleged gang member is scheduled to be arraigned today on a felony assault charge stemming from an attack on a homeless man who was struck by a folding chair and a pipe.

Apolinar Celestino Lopez, 31, is charged with one count of assault with a deadly weapon. The complaint includes special gang and deadly weapons allegations.

The attack -- captured on video and distributed by police during the investigation of the crime -- occurred about 4 a.m. on Dec. 13 near Ocean Front Walk and Horizon Avenue in Venice.

The victim suffered a broken arm, as well as a head injury, according to police, who said the attack was unprovoked.

"Although the victim has been homeless at times, we don't believe (the motivation) is an attack on a homeless person,'' Los Angeles police Capt. Brian Johnson said when Lopez was arrested.

The two men knew each other and had some sort of dispute, according to Johnson.

Lopez, who posted $155,000 bail following his Jan. 5 arrest, is scheduled to be arraigned at the Airport Courthouse today.

Prosecutors said he has two prior felony convictions for possession for sale of cocaine base. If convicted as charged, he faces up to 11 years in prison.

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