Alleged panhandler suspected of assault

A 31-year-old Santa Monica man was arrested Friday after he allegedly punched and threatened to kill a businessman who asked him to stop panhandling and move along.

Lucas Bennett was asking for money while seated in a wheelchair in the 200 block of South Central Avenue, when a downtown businessman asked him to leave the area, according to Glendale police spokeswoman Tahnee Lightfoot.

Bennett reportedly refused and stood up from his wheelchair, she said. He punched the businessman on his chest and chased him in an attempt to hit him again, Lightfoot added.

When police arrived, they saw Bennett reportedly pushing his wheelchair.

He was taken into custody on suspicion of assault and making threats, Lightfoot said. He remained in custody as of Tuesday afternoon.

-- Veronica Rocha,

Follow on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.


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