Former Child Actor-turned-firefighter Michael Vitar Has Pleaded Not Guilty To Allegedly Taking Part In A Brutal Assault On A College Student.
The Sandlot star, who portrayed Benny 'The Jet' Rodriguez in the kids' sports film, was arrested and charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon in December (15) after 23-year-old Samuel Chang was severely injured in an attack allegedly instigated by three firefighters on Halloween (31Oct15).
According to legal documents, Chang was approached by two firefighters while he was handing out sweet treats in the street of his gated community complex in Los Angeles. The two men reportedly believed the student was giving out tainted candy to children, and allegedly proceeded to beat him and then restrained him in a chokehold.
Vitar, 37, is accused of joining in the attack, which left Chang hospitalised with burst blood vessels in the eye, bleeding on the brain, kidney failure, and haemorrhaging due to suffocation.
The alleged victim recorded audio of the bust-up on his cell phone, and prosecutors believe Vitar can be heard on the footage saying, "I got the legs."
The three suspects appeared in a Los Angeles court on Thursday (21Jan16), when they each entered not guilty pleas.
Vitar, who retired from acting in 1997, faces up to four years behind bars if convicted, and is due back in court in March (16), reports TMZ.com.
He is currently on administrative leave from his job with the Los Angeles Fire Department, which he joined in 2002, as the case continues.
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