A Canoga Park man slashed one of his dinner party hostesses with a knife and choked the other after hearing that their cat's name was a racial slur, authorities said Wednesday.
Keovan Thompson, 26, pleaded innocent Wednesday to misdemeanor assault, brandishing a weapon and battery charges in connection with the Sunday night incident in West Hills.
He was released on his own recognizance pending a trial scheduled for Dec. 4 in Van Nuys Municipal Court, said Ted Goldstein of the Los Angeles city attorney's office.
If convicted on all three charges, Thompson faces up to 18 months in jail and a $12,000 fine, Goldstein said.
The incident occurred Sunday night while Thompson was having dinner with Laura Freed, 32, and Suzzanne Lissette, 21, at their home in the 6600 block of Platt Avenue near Haynes Street.
Thompson is black and both women are white.
"He learned of this cat's name during dinner chitchat. He saw it walking through the room and inquired about its name," Goldstein said.
"One of the ladies said, 'I hope this doesn't offend you . . . ' " and repeated the cat's name, which is a well-known racial slur, Goldstein said.
"The dinner party obviously became ugly at this point," Goldstein said. "Thompson became angered and irate. There was an exchange of words and then he became violent."
Thompson first began choking Freed and then grabbed a kitchen knife and lunged at Lissette, cutting her in the forehead just above the eye, Goldstein said
Both victims received minor injuries, Los Angeles police said.
Police arrested Thompson as he drove away from the home, Goldstein said.
He remained in jail until his arraignment Wednesday.