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Ex-firefighter sentenced for assaulting cat-feeding lady

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LOS ANGELES » A former Los Angeles firefighter who was sentenced to 180 days in jail for assaulting a woman who fed stray cats in his neighborhood apologized to his victim in court Tuesday, saying his actions do not reflect the person he is.

Ian Justin Eulian also was sentenced to three years’ probation, 25 days of Caltrans work and one year of anger-management classes. He was allowed to remain free on $20,000 bail while he appeals his conviction.

Before sentencing, Eulian turned to face his victim in court and apologized, City News Service reported.

"I’m sorry," he told Rebecca Stafford. "My emotions got the best of me."

Stafford thanked him for his words.

A surveillance video showed Eulian punching Stafford, then violently pulling her out of her car and beating her to the ground during a Sept. 14, 2013, confrontation.

He was convicted last month of assault and battery and causing great bodily injury. An earlier trial ended with a hung jury.

Eulian testified during his first trial that Stafford promised him she would only feed strays at the end of an alley, but when he saw her back in the neighborhood with cat food, an expletive-filled exchange between the two took place.

Stafford testified that she tried to explain to Eulian she wasn’t feeding the cats but just trying to catch one.

She was knocked unconscious during the struggle. Prosecutors said that when she regained consciousness, Eulian and his mother told her she had tripped and hit her head on her car. They helped her back into the car and drove her home.

Eulian has resigned from the Los Angeles Fire Department, and he appealed to Superior Court Judge Jose I. Sandoval to spare him a jail sentence.

"I’ve lost everything — my reputation, my career," he said.

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