Man Convicted in Seemingly Random E-Scooter Attack on 75-Year-Old Victim in Downtown L.A.

The suspect in the brutal beating of a 75-year-old man in downtown Los Angeles is seen in surveillance images released by L.A. police on June 19, 2019.

The suspect in the brutal beating of a 75-year-old man in downtown Los Angeles is seen in surveillance images released by L.A. police on June 19, 2019.

A man was convicted Wednesday in an apparently unprovoked attack in which he hurled an electric scooter at a 75-year-old man in downtown Los Angeles earlier this year, prosecutors said.

Janai Washington, 41, pleaded no contest to elder abuse with infliction of great injury, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

Washington was arrested June 19 following a weeklong manhunt for the perpetrator in the seemingly random attack on Jose Cancel.

Cancel was sitting in a chair at the corner of Sixth and Spring streets when Washington came up and assaulted him. Washington punched the victim and knocked him to the ground, then launched the e-scooter at him, investigators said.

Police said Cancel’s injuries included a head wound that required staples.

Washington fled when a bystander intervened, prosecutors said.

Surveillance cameras in the area captured Cancel’s attacker, and detectives identified the man as Washington. Authorities say the defendant was living on the street at the time.

Washington was originally also charged with assault with a deadly weapon, but that count was dropped after prosecutors determined Washington was essentially being charged twice for the same crime, said Tatevik Tigranyan, a public information assistant at the DA’s office.

The defendant’s sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 10, when officials say he’s expected to be given a seven-year term.

The June 13 incident was the second assault involving an e-scooter in L.A. County this year, following the fatal beating of 63-year-old Long Beach resident Rosa Elena Hernandez in May. The suspect in that attack, 27-year-old Amad Rashad Redding, has pleaded not guilty to murder.

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