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Businessman convicted in 'cheap shot' assault at Hollywood club

December 7, 2011 |  4:30 pm

A jury has convicted a restaurant and bar owner of assault in connection with an altercation outside a Hollywood nightclub that left a man seriously injured, city prosecutors said Wednesday.

Eduardo Acosta Lopez, 30, was found guilty of one count of misdemeanor battery causing serious bodily injury and one count of assault likely to produce great bodily injury after a four-day trial, said John Franklin, a spokesman for City Atty. Carmen Trutanich.

The case was originally filed as a felony but was reduced to a misdemeanor. City prosecutors requested that the Los Angeles County district attorney refile the case as a felony before trial, but the agency declined, Franklin said.

Lopez, who faces up to a year in county jail, is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 22.

The case stemmed from a May 11 attack in which Lopez encountered a man who was yelling at a security guard outside the Roxbury on Sunset Boulevard.

Lopez punched the victim in the face, then fled the scene with his wife, Franklin said. The blow caused the victim to fall and hit his head, leaving him unconscious on the sidewalk. He also was bleeding from the ears and mouth.

"The victim didn't even see it coming," Franklin said. "Absolutely, this was a cheap shot, the suspect had no prior contact with the victim prior to the hit to the head."

The victim suffered a skull fracture and brain trauma, as well as permanent loss of hearing in the right ear, loss of taste on the right side of his tongue, headaches and memory loss, Franklin said.

Lopez, who owns several bars and restaurants across Los Angeles County, was arrested at his home two days after the incident.

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-- Andrew Blankstein

twitter.com/anblanx

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