The victim, David Baysinger, told Glendale police Philip Papineau first asked for the wheelchair so he could use it while he was begging, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday. Baysinger, who cannot walk, said when he refused Papineau pushed him out of the chair and took off with it April 20.
Papineau pleaded not guilty.
Police said they found the wheelchair in Papineau's room at the Tropico Motel.
Papineau and Baysinger are both transients who had been seen together around Glendale, police said.