A San Carlos man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that he savagely beat another patron of a Belmont bar last weekend, critically injuring him.
Joseph Patrick Kaufman, 23, and the 48-year-old victim had been drinking separately at Lariat Tavern, prosecutors said, but they got into an argument outside the bar after closing time about 2:15 a.m.
The spat was over the older man's female friend, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
Kaufman allegedly punched the older man in the face, pushed him to the ground and repeatedly kicked him in the head and torso until he was bloodied and unconscious, Wagstaffe said.
The victim was rushed to the hospital with gruesome injuries that included a broken vertebrae, eye fractures, broken teeth and bleeding in the brain, Wagstaffe said.
He reportedly remains in critical condition.
Kaufman was appointed a public defender on Wednesday, Wagstaffe said, and is next scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing May 9. He remains in custody on $100,000 bail.