LONG BEACH (CBS) — A man who was knocked unconscious in an apparent road-rage beating on the Golden State (5) Freeway pleaded not guilty Friday in Long Beach to charges stemming from a previous driving-under-the-influence, hit-and-run and battery case.

KNX 1070’s Ron Kilgore reports Jerry Patterson said very little to reporters as he left the courthouse.

Patterson, 49, was arrested just before noon June 21 on a warrant issued in Long Beach stemming “from an incident on May 25 at the intersection of Corona (Avenue) and The Toledo,” said Nancy Pratt of the Long Beach Police Department.

“A hit-and-run collision occurred, and the driver fled the scene,” Pratt added. “He was followed by a witness to another location.”

Pratt said the witness made contact with Patterson and was allegedly assaulted by him.

Patterson is due back in court Aug. 8.

“Police arrived and the suspect driver was arrested for DUI, non-injury hit-and-run and battery,” Pratt said. “He did not show up for court and a warrant was issued for his arrest.”

On June 20, California Highway Patrol officers arrested David Mendez, 21, and Edras Ramirez, 27, both of Los Angeles, and booked them on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the 5 Freeway brawl involving Patterson, according to Officer Ming Hsu of the CHP’s public affairs office.

Mendez and Ramirez were released on bail the following day and are tentatively scheduled to appear in court in downtown Los Angeles on July 13.

Investigators have not decided whether charges are warranted against their alleged victim — Patterson — in connection with the confrontation between the men on the 5 Freeway, which was recorded by a bystander using a
cell phone camera.

The recording was posted on the website LiveLeak and received more than 130,000 hits within hours.

CHP Officer Denise Joslin said the fight apparently happened about 3:30 p.m. June 12 on the northbound 5 south of Seventh Street in the East LA Interchange.

The video depicts Patterson arguing with three men outside their cars on the side of the freeway. Patterson and one of the three men square off and exchange blows, but then a second man jumps Patterson and helps take him to the ground.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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