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Man suspected of beating Venice transient with chair is arrested

Crime, Law and JusticeCrimeAssaultDrunk Driving

A man suspected of beating a homeless man with a folding chair in Venice has been arrested, police announced Friday.

Apolinar Celestino Lopez, 31, was arrested Sunday and booked on suspicion of felony assault with a deadly weapon in the Dec. 13 attack. The beating, which occurred near the Venice boardwalk, was caught on video by a neighbor.

The footage, which was widely distributed by media outlets in an attempt to identify the suspect, shows a man repeatedly hitting the transient in the head and upper body with a folding chair as he lies on the ground trying to shield the blows with his hands.

Gang detectives in the LAPD Pacific Division identified Lopez as the suspect and obtained a felony warrant for his arrest. He was taken into custody Sunday night after a traffic stop for speeding and officers discovered the arrest warrant, police said in a statement.

Lopez was also booked on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to police.

Lopez has an extensive criminal history, including convictions for burglary, DUI and domestic violence.

He was released Monday on $155,000 bail, according to the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.

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Twitter: @cmaiduc

christine.maiduc@latimes.com

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