SANTA MONICA (CBSLA.com) — Authorities have charged a 39-year-old Redondo Beach woman with the unprovoked attack on a female tourist inside a Santa Monica Coffee Bean last week.
The tourist, a woman from New York, said she'd never seen the suspect before.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced Wednesday that Sara Christine Rizo faces one felony count each of criminal threats and battery with serious bodily injury the case.
Rizo pleaded not guilty to the charges Wednesday and is scheduled to return to court on July 1.
On June 9, Barbara Lowy and her family were sitting in the Coffee Bean when Rizo allegedly began pulling the woman by the hair without provocation, prosecutors said. The defendant also is accused of threatening to kill the victim as she threw her on the ground, prosecutors added. Rizo reportedly said she could come back "with a machine gun."
Lowy was taken to a hospital for a pulled vertebrae and now has to wear a neck brace until it heals.
The recommended bail for Rizo is $80,000.
She faces a possible maximum sentence of four years in state prison.
The Santa Monica Police Department continues to investigate the case.
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