LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A Sylmar man who was caught on cellphone video repeatedly punching two women during a dispute with a downtown Los Angeles street vendor last month has been charged with five counts of misdemeanor battery, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Arka Sangbaran Oroojian faces up to 30 months in jail and $10,000 in fines if convicted as charged, according to the City Attorney’s Office.
“We will not tolerate a brutal assault on the streets of DTLA, or any neighborhood,” said City Attorney Mike Feuer.
The father of one of the women posted the video of the Jan. 26 assault on Facebook, saying the two had been standing up for a street vendor the man was hassling. The video, posted to LAPD’s Twitter account, has been viewed more than 1.1 million times. Another witness told CBS2 that the suspect was arguing with a vendor over the price of a hot dog when the two women got involved, calling him derogatory names and demanding he leave the vendor alone.
“And they started punching on him first,” said the witness, who only identified himself as Stewart. “And once they punched on him first, they’re jumping on his back, then he defended his self [sic] by, you know, counter-punching these women and things like that. So the video caught only the second glimpse of the story.”
Despite initially fleeing the scene, Oroojian later turned himself in to the LAPD Central Station after video of the alleged incident went viral.
Both victims were taken to a nearby hospital and diagnosed with injuries including a concussion, broken finger and facial bruising.
Oroojian has insisted he acted in self-defense and that the women in the video attacked him first.