'The Sandlot' Actor Michael Vitar Pleads Not Guilty to Assault in Halloween Beating
By John Boone
Michael Anthony Vitar has plead not guilty.
The child actor-turned-Los Angeles city firefighter -- he played Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez in 1993's baseball classic, The Sandlot -- was charged with assault, alongside fellow firefighter Eric Carpenter and another man, Thomas Molnar, in an alleged Halloween beating.
On Thursday, attorneys for the three men entered a not guilty plea and a preliminary hearing was set for March 3.
"What I hope is going to happen is each of these gentlemen will be cleared because they're not guilty," Carpenter's attorney, Michael Goldstein, told ET outside the courtroom. "Each of these gentlemen were faced with a very unique set of circumstances."
Previously, Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Chung, who is prosecuting the case, alleged that the men "became upset when a 22-year-old man visiting his grandmother...was handing out candy to kids as he walked down the street." Chung claimed Vitar and his coworkers "jumped" the man and claimed that Carpenter "choked" him.
Now, Goldstein is telling a different story. "He was asked to leave. He refused to leave," the attorney purported to ET. "They backed him up trying to get him to [an adjoining street], and he ran back several times and that's when the interaction occurred."
If convicted, Vitar could face up to four years in state prison.
In other legal news, Backstreet Boy Nick Carter was arrested in Key West last week after an alleged bar fight. Watch the NSFW from the incident: