Woman beaten for feeding cats returns to stand for 2nd day of trial

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A woman who says she was attacked for feeding stray cats in South Los Angeles returned to the stand to testify Friday.

Prosecutors played surveillance video of the attack frame by frame, as victim Rebecca Stafford described what she remembered.

"I remember him reaching into my car, and grabbing me, and I said, 'Are you going to hit me?' And then it was like lights out, and then I don't remember anything until I woke up," said Stafford.

Stafford, 47, told prosecutors what she experienced when she was repeatedly punched last September. Firefighter Ian Eulian and his mother Lonieta Fontaine are accused in the attack.

Pictures of her bruised and battered face were shown in court. At one point, Stafford broke down in tears while looking at the surveillance video.

Stafford told the jury as the heated confrontation escalated, she tried to diffuse it by telling Eulian she was not there to feed the cats, but to trap an injured cat to get it help.

"I told him to leave me alone multiple times. I remember more than once trying to say, 'I'm not feeding the cats, I'm not feeding the cats here, I'm just trying to catch this one,'" said Stafford.

During cross examination, defense attorneys questioned Stafford on whether she instigated the altercation. Stafford admitted to throwing cat food at Eulian before being punched. She claimed she did that to get him to back away from her. When that did not work, she said she went a step further.

"I remember at some point I panicked, and I smacked him on the side of his head. Nothing I was saying or doing was making him go away. His head was right here in my face and I just popped him on the side of the head," she said.

The defense also asked Stafford why she did not just drive away.

"I think I don't come from a home or environment where men hit women, and so I really didn't expect him to hit me," she said.

Eulian is charged with battery causing serious bodily injury. His mother is charged with accessory after the fact. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Eulian is on paid administrative leave. If convicted, he could face seven years in prison.

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