LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles man accused of assaulting a San Francisco 49ers fan in a SoFi Stadium parking lot during the NFC championship game in January, leaving the victim in a medically induced coma, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a battery charge.
Since his arrest, Bryan Alexis Cifuentes has maintained the fight between him and Oakland restaurant owner Daniel Luna was self-defense.
“I am looking forward for my day in court, and I ask everyone to understand that we all have a right to defend ourselves,” Cifuentes said outside after his arraignment Wednesday.
The felony count of battery with serious bodily injury stems from a Jan. 30 altercation that occurred as the Rams and 49ers were playing for a trip to Super Bowl LVI — a game eventually won by the Rams.
Prosecutors said Luna approached a group of people outside the stadium and an altercation ensued, during which Cifuentes allegedly slugged Luna, who fell to the ground.
Luna, who was wearing a 49ers jersey, was found by a security guard in the parking lot and was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where he was placed in a medically induced coma with injuries to his face and upper body.
Cifuentes was eventually tracked down thanks to the surveillance video, which captured a license plate on a suspect vehicle that eventually led to the suspect.
After his arrest, acquaintances told reporters that Luna was the aggressor in the confrontation and appeared to be intoxicated.
Friends of Luna said he flew to Los Angeles and attended the game alone after other fans who were planning to accompany him canceled. He owns the Oakland Peruvian fusion restaurant Mistura.