An alleged Venice 13 gang member accused of beating a homeless man with a metal folding chair on the Venice Boardwalk will be in court on Feb. 3 for a pretrial hearing on assault with a deadly weapon, drug dealing and fire-arms charges.

A witness video recording of the widely publicized December 2013 assault shows Apolinar Lopez, 33, striking the homeless man in the upper body and face, according to police and prosecutors.

Lopez was arrested during a January 2014 traffic stop in Venice while allegedly driving under the influence.

L.A. County prosecutor Eugene Hanrahan of the District Attorney’s Hardcore Gang Unit said that in addition to the assault, Lopez is facing charges of possession for sale of cocaine, possession of a controlled substance with a firearm, being a felon in possession of a firearm and conspiracy to possess cocaine for sale.

“There are separate enhancements for the gang allegation, crimes committed while out on bail and a prison prior,” Hanrahan added.

A gang expert testified at an earlier preliminary hearing that Lopez belongs to Venice 13, which is under a gang injunction from the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office.

Lopez faces a maximum sentence of about 20 years in prison, Hanrahan said.
— Gary Walker