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Reputed gang member charged in Venice boardwalk beating

Law EnforcementCrime, Law and JusticeCourts and the JudiciaryLos Angeles Police DepartmentFlu

A reputed gang member has been charged in connection with the brutal beating of a homeless man on the Venice boardwalk, authorities said Monday.

Apolinar Celestino Lopez, 30, is charged with using a folding chair and a pipe during the attack, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said. 

The Dec. 13 incident took place in the 1300 block of Ocean Front Walk and was captured on videotape, the Los Angeles Police Department said. 

"The video footage showed the suspect using a folding chair to hit the victim several times in the face and upper body," LAPD officials said in a statement.

Police said Lopez was arrested earlier this month after he was pulled over on suspicion of speeding while driving in a Venice neighborhood. 

The district attorney's office said in a statement that Lopez beat the victim, who was treated at a hospital after the attack, "for the benefit of a criminal street gang."

A complaint filed in L.A. County Superior Court alleges that Lopez has two previous felony convictions, in 2007 and 2004, for possession for sale of cocaine base, the district attorney's office said. He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday a the Airport courthouse.

If convicted, Lopez faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in state prison, authorities said.

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robert.lopez@latimes.com

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