A Los Angeles Fire Department engineer pleaded not guilty Thursday afternoon to charges that and his mother beat a woman who fed stray cats in their West Adams neighborhood.
Ian Eulian, 37, and Lonieta Fontaine, 70, were each charged late last month with felony assault and battery in connection with a Sept. 14 incident that began with a verbal altercation, according to the Los Angeles Count District Attorney’s Office.
The alleged violent confrontation was caught on surveillance camera footage, the DA’s office said.
When Eulian, who was off duty at the time, confronted a 47-year-old woman who was parked in her car near his home in the 2500 block of West View Street, the woman threw dry cat food at him, according to prosecutors. He had leaned into her car and yelled at her, prosecutors said.
Eulian then allegedly punched the woman, at which point Fontaine allegedly came over and slapped the woman several times, according to the DA’s office. The woman was then pulled from her car and allegedly punched again by Eulian.
The woman passed out, and Eulian allegedly put her back in the car and drove her to her home, telling her she had tripped and hit her face, prosecutors said.
Eulian appeared arraignment at the downtown LA criminal courthouse; Fontaine had been scheduled to appear Friday.
After charges were filed, neighbors told KTLA that the alleged victim was often seen in the neighborhood, but several said they only knew her as the “cat lady.” A relative of the suspects said the woman was making the story up.
Eulian faces seven years in state prison while Fontaine faces four years in the alleged beating.