'Reputed Gang Member' Pleads Not Guilty In Brutal Venice Beating
A man who police say viciously beat a homeless man with a pipe and a folding chair has pleaded not guilty.
Apolinar Celestino Lopez, 31, pleaded not guilty to one count of assault with a deadly weapon and is free on bail, City News Service reports. Lopez has been described as a 'reputed gang member' by authorities.
Video of the beating surfaced on LiveLeak back in mid-December. In the video, a man is seen being beaten with a lead pipe and then with a folding chair. Blows from the chair land on the man's head and neck area. The attack continues for three agonizing minutes.
The attacker in the video, who police believe is Lopez, repeatedly calls the victim a "puto" and a "motherfucker" as he repeatedly strikes the man. The victim, who has been in and out of homelessness, suffered head injuries and a broken arm.
Initially, police believed that the attack was unprovoked, but they are now saying that Lopez knew the man and the attack may have been the result of a dispute, CNS reports.
If convicted, Lopez faces up to 11 years in prison.