A Palos Verdes Estates man was sentenced Wednesday to 14 days in jail for an October 2015 attack that left a then 50-year old man with a traumatic head injury.
Michael Rae Papayans, 29, initially pleaded no contest in February 2017 to a charge of felony assault by means to produce great bodily injury after he punched the man in Lot L of the Dodger Stadium parking lot following a playoff game between the Dodgers and New York Mets.
The man fell to the ground unconscious and his head hit the pavement, causing him to sustain serious head injuries, the District Attorney’s office said in a statement at the time of Papayans’ arrest in 2016.
As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors dropped the great bodily injury allegation and reduced the charge to a misdemeanor after Papayans completed 80 hours of community service and 26 anger management classes. He also paid nearly $109,000 in restitution, according to the district attorney’s office.
After the charge was dropped to a misdemeanor, Papayans was sentenced to serve 14 days in jail, the district attorney’s office said. Booking information was not immediately available.
Papayans was initially arrested in February 2016 for punching Ariel Auffant of Bakersfield in the head following the game, in which the Mets defeated the Dodgers, 3-1, Oct. 9, 2015.
Papayans’ mother allegedly confronted a group of four people walking to their car, which included Auffant. One member of the group, Auffant’s cousin, was wearing Mets attire.
Papayans then joined in on the dispute and punched Auffant, causing him to fall to the ground. Papayans’ mother then allegedly kicked the man in the back.
Four days later, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck asked for the public’s help in finding the assailants.
An investigation by LAPD robbery-assault detectives led to Papayans, who was taken into custody Feb. 11, 2016. He was released on bail the following day.
The L.A. County District Attorney’s office did not file charges against Papayans’ mother. After he was charged, Papayans’ grandmother told this news organization that her grandson was only protecting his mother.
The victim, Ariel Auffant, filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Papayans family in 2017. That case is scheduled to go to trial in March 2019.
Papayans allegedly belongs to a territorial group of surfers known as the Lunada Bay Boys and was listed as a defendant in two lawsuits that alleged the group harassed outsiders at a surf spot in Palos Verdes Estates. The federal lawsuit was dismissed, but a state lawsuit still is pending.
In January 2016, about one month prior to his arrest, Papayans also was arrested with Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter following a Key West, Florida, bar brawl. At the time, it was reported that Papayans’ fiance was Carter’s sister-in-law.