Man accused of injuring bus passenger with bottle pleads not guilty

Incident caught on video

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - A probationer accused of hurling a bottle at a fellow bus passenger, gashing his face, as they rode through Chula Vista pleaded not guilty Friday to a charge of assault with a deadly weapon and was ordered held without bail.

Jovan Rivera, 25, was arrested in Lemon Grove Wednesday morning in connection with the attack, which was captured on surveillance video, according to Chula Vista police.

Around 11:50 p.m. on Aug. 27, Rivera allegedly confronted the victim on a Metropolitan Transit System bus and issued a gang-type challenge, to which the other man replied that he did not want any trouble.

"The (aggressor), who appeared to be intoxicated, sat down, but continued to cause a disturbance," CVPD Capt. Gary Wedge said.

As the bus came to a stop at Third Avenue and Naples Street, Rivera accosted the man again, then threw a glass bottle at his face, causing a cut that required seven stitches to close, Deputy District Attorney Ramona McCarthy alleged.

Last week, a day after local news outlets carried stories about the attack, a tipster called the police and identified Rivera as the alleged attacker, Wedge said.

Rivera was on probation for robbery when the assault happened, McCarthy told Judge Katherine Bacal.

A readiness conference was scheduled Dec. 17 and a preliminary hearing for Dec. 20.

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