A mistrial was declared on Tuesday in the case of a Los Angeles firefighter accused of beating a woman who was feeding stray cats in their West Adams neighborhood.
Ian Eulian and his mother Lonieta Fontaine were each charged with felony assault and battery in connection with the Sept. 14 incident that was captured on surveillance video.
Eulian, who was off duty at the time, and Fontaine allegedly confronted 47-year-old Rebecca Stafford because the stray cats she was feeding had attacked his dog and were littering his yard, according to Stafford.
Surveillance video of the incident appeared to show Eulian and Fontaine in a verbal argument with Stafford who was parked in her car near his home in the 2500 block of West View Street.
During the argument, Stafford is punched several times before being pulled out of her car and then allegedly beaten unconscious.
Defense attorney's said Stafford started the fight by throwing cat food in Eulian's face.
The judge declared the case a mistrial after jurors were unable to reach a decision.
“Some people could view this — if all they’ve seen is the video — as the defense dogging a bullet,” defense attorney Robert Schwartz said.
Prosecutors did not immediately comment following the ruling.
Eulian faced up to 7 years in prison if convicted in the case. Fontaine could have received 4 years in prison.