Michael Vitar is innocent. At least, Michael Vitar says he is.
Vitar, the former child actor who starred in the 1993 film “The Sandlot,” has pleaded not guilty to an assault charge stemming from an alleged Halloween beat-down, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office told TheWrap on Thursday.
Vitar, who played “Benny the Jet” Rodriguez in the film and now serves as a Los Angeles firefighter, faces up to four years in state prison if convicted.
According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Vitar was attending a party hosted by another off-duty firefighter when they and a neighbor became upset with a 22-year-old man who was visiting his grandmother and handing out candy to children while he walked down the street.
The three men allegedly chased down the other man and jumped him, forcing him to the ground before the other firefighter choked him.
The other two suspects also pleaded not guilty on Thursday.
During his acting career, Vitar, now 36, also appeared in “D2: The Mighty Ducks” and “D3: The Mighty Ducks.”
All three defendants are due back in court on Mar. 3 to set a date for their preliminary hearing.