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Man is charged with battery in punching of woman caught on video outside Venice Beach market

The woman met her attacker earlier in the day before being punched, police say.

A man who was seen on security video knocking a woman out with one punch outside a Venice Beach market was charged with felony battery this week, prosecutors said.

Michael Joseph Fino, 44, of Santa Monica, pleaded not guilty Thursday to hitting the woman outside Windward Farms Sept. 25, knocking her unconscious and causing serious bodily injury. Police said that he and the woman had had some kind of confrontation earlier in the day and that minutes before he hit her, she had confronted him inside the store.

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In security video, the woman is seen in a terse exchange with a burly man in a tank top. She waited for him outside the store and had begun following him when he quickly turned around and punched her once, sending her falling to the ground.

Fino was arrested Tuesday and is being held on $165,000 bail, jail records show. Prosecutors say he has previous convictions for battery with serious bodily injury in 1994, possession of methamphetamine for sale and identity theft in 2007, and second degree burglary in both 2001 and 2013.

Fino is due back in court Nov. 3.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna on Twitter.

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