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Firefighter is 'crushed' after being convicted of assault, attorney says

Firefighter is 'crushed' after being convicted of assault, attorney says
Ian Justin Eulian, right, in Los Angeles Superior Court in September 2014. Eulian, a Los Angeles firefighter, was convicted of a felonycount each of assault and battery. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

A Los Angeles city firefighter was convicted Thursday of assaulting a woman who was feeding stray cats in his neighborhood.

Jurors convicted Ian Justin Eulian, 39, of one felony count each of assault and battery in connection with the Sept. 14, 2013, incident, which was captured by surveillance cameras at a nearby West Adams community center.

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"Ian is crushed by the verdict," said his attorney, Robert A. Schwartz, who vowed to appeal the jury's decision. "He's a kind, thoughtful person. He's done good all his life. He'd never been violent before."

In the video, Eulian appears to punch the woman, pull her out of her Jeep and shove her to the ground, where she lost consciousness. Eulian's mother at one point appears to slap the woman.

The incident began when Eulian, who was off duty, approached the woman and yelled at her about feeding the stray cats, prosecutors said. The woman tossed cat kibble at Eulian, who then began landing blows, prosecutors said.

When the woman awoke, she told Eulian and his mother that she couldn't recall what had happened, prosecutors said. The mother and son put her back into her Jeep, and Eulian's mother drove her home, prosecutors said.

Jurors deliberated for less than two hours before delivering the guilty verdict. Last year, a different jury deadlocked over whether he was guilty of assault and battery.

Eulian's attorney said the sharp contrast between the two juries was unsettling.

"This was a farce. One hour, really, of deliberations?" Schwartz said. "If a jury does their job and they reach a verdict, I can live with that. But when they just go through the motions, I do have a problem."

Eulian faces up to seven years in state prison and is scheduled to be sentenced in late June.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno

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