Tag Archives: crime

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Parents of 3-Year-Old Left in Hot Car Say Child Must Have Snuck Into Van


A Fullerton, Calif., couple accused of leaving their 3-year-old in a hot car this past Sunday says that the child must have snuck into their Nissan Quest without their knowledge. The attorney for Ho Kim, 33, and Tae Kim, 35, who were arrested on suspicion of felony endangerment, said they handed their children off to family members of Tae Kim’s to babysit, and then left to go to a shopping mall, according to a report in the Korea Times.

“Of the three kids, their second oldest daughter got in the car without her parents knowing and fell asleep,” the attorney told the Korea Times.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office told KoreAm today that the case is still under review, and the couple has not yet been formally charged.

The husband and wife are back at home with their children, after posting bail. Children’s protective services has allowed the 3-year-old and her two siblings to return to the parents’ custody, the couple’s attorney told the Korea Times.

Temperatures on Sunday reached about 91 degrees at the time the girl was in the family’s minivan, with interior temperature at about 104 degrees, authorities said. Police believe she was there for 15 to 20 minutes before a passerby spotted her in the vehicle and contacted police.

This incident occurred after similar cases, which resulted in the deaths of toddlers, received widespread media coverage in the past few weeks. The Daily Mail reported that 18 children in the U.S. have died this year from heatstroke after being left in hot cars.

Image via KTLA

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Fresno Man Sentenced To Three Years After Defrauding Elderly Korean Investors


Following a seven-year investigation, Kwan Yong Choi, 72, of Fresno, Calif., was sentenced this week to three years in prison for money laundering and charged $2.1 million in restitution to be paid to the victims of his fraud, many of whom were elderly Koreans, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Authorities said 13 individuals fell victim to Choi’s fraudulent schemes, investing more than $2 million in his company, Sun Min Trading Inc. According to court documents, the Korean national, formerly of Daejeon City, South Korea, fabricated an investment scheme in 2002 that convinced his investors his company bought souvenirs and sold them to the White House. Out of an expected 30 percent profit from sales, 20 percent was to be given to investors quarterly and 10 percent to be given to a charity called the “International Christian Mission Center.”

But, instead, Choi bilked the investors of more than $2 million and spent the funds on his own personal and business-related expenses, including payments for homes, cars and credit card bills.

Choi specifically targeted elderly Korean nationals living in the U.S. in his scheme, according to The Business Journal. Among a number of false representations–including a history of successful investments and that the investments were secure–Choi also lied that he was an ordained minister and that the “International Christian Mission Center” was an extension of the CIA.

The length investigation began in 2006, when Choi was arrested in Fresno on an extradition order from the Republic of Korea. He returned to South Korea and served four years in prison on other fraud charges, including visa and marriage fraud, all perpetrated in South Korea.

“As with all financial scams, the victims in this case received promises of hefty profits, but they were the ones who ended up paying the price, including some who lost their life savings,” said Clark Settles, the special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Francisco, in a press statement last year. “We owe it to them to seek justice in this case. HSI special agents in Fresno and Seoul worked tirelessly to make it happen and, after seven years of investigative efforts, it’s gratifying to know that day has come. We also owe a tremendous debt to the authorities in South Korea, whose cooperation was vital to assuring this defendant’s return.”

In 2010, federal agents escorted Choi back to Fresno after he served his sentence in South Korea, and a federal grand jury returned a six-count indictment against Choi for his crimes perpetrated in the United States, according to court documents. U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii handed down the three-year sentence this week.

“The reality that this fraudster faces a lengthy term in federal prison should provide a measure of consolation for the defendant’s victims, some of whom lost their life saving as a result of his scams,” said Nick Annan, the acting special agent of  HSI San Francisco, in a released statement. “Today’s sentencing is particularly gratifying, given that it’s the culmination of seven years of intensive investigation carried out on two continents.”


Man With Knife Breaches JYP Headquarters, Demands Meeting with CEO


Authorities arrested a 34-year-old man for trespassing into the JYP Entertainment main headquarters in Seoul yesterday and threatening its employees with a knife, according to South Korean media.

The man, identified by the police only by his surname Choi, gained entrance into the complex by closely following an employee entering the building and managed to make it  to a recording room on the third floor, despite employees’ attempts to block him, reported the Korea Herald. Once there, he demanded to meet with JYP CEO J.Y. Park while wielding a 30-centimeter kitchen knife, police said.

The Herald reported that, after a secretary told him he could not meet with Park, Choi threw the knife. It was unclear from the news reports if he was trying to throw the knife at someone. No one was injured in the incident.

Police believe that Choi was enraged about the company’s lack of response to a job application he had sent it two years ago. “I sent in an application to enter JYP Entertainment two years ago, yet I didn’t receive any response or meet with Park . Therefore, I decided to come myself,” Choi told police.

JYP Entertainment, founded and led by J.Y. Park, is considered one of the “big three” record companies in South Korea. Its roster of artists have included the Wonder Girls, Rain and 2PM.

Photo via hanintel


Man Dies In DC Store Robbery


Police in Washington, D.C. are searching for two armed men wanted for homicide after a surveillance tape showed them killing a man to rob a liquor store.

James Oh, 75, died of a head trauma in the robbery, which occurred last Friday, police said. The tape shows the men in masks forcing their way behind the store’s counter and pushing a person to the ground. The two men, one in a gray hooded sweatshirt and the other in a black hooded sweatshirt, fled the scene in a black Jeep Cherokee.

“Upon arrival, they located an adult male semi-conscious and suffering from head trauma,”[They] transported the victim to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead.”

Examiners will soon perform an autopsy and determine the exact cause of Oh’s death.

Police are offering a reward up to $25,000 to anyone who provides information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of the two men. Anyone with knowledge of their whereabouts is asked to call (202) 272-9099. Anonymous information may be submitted by text messaging 50411.


Man Claiming To Be God Kills Neighbor With A Sword


A man in Watertown, Wis. stabbed two people with a sword and killed one of them, according to local police.

Police charged Young Choi, 29, with first degree intentional homicide last Friday after the death of his neighbor, Dustin Vanderheyden. Choi allegedly killed him Thursday at their apartment. A witness saw Choi attacking Vanderheyden, 27, with the sword. Shortly after, he swung the sword at the witness and gave him a cut in his hand, according to the criminal complaint.

Vanderheyden was pronounced dead during surgery and police found Choi at the top of a stairwell and arrested him.

Before the fatal attack, Choi allegedly had been making bizarre comments for a week, saying that he is “God,” according to Vanderheyden’s wife’s testimony in the criminal complaint. Choi also allegedly told her that she should leave her husband to be with him and said he plans to stab him with a sword.


Asian Americans Question Whether Race Played Role in UC Santa Barbara Killings


In the aftermath of the frightening rampage near the UC Santa Barbara campus on Friday that left seven people dead, including the suspected killer, some Asian Americans are starting to ask: What role did race play in his horrific incident?

That’s because Elliot Rodger, the 22-year-old Santa Barbara City College student authorities identified as the killer, is of Asian descent on his mother’s side, and may have harbored some deep self-hatred of that Asianness, based on the chilling 140-page manifesto he left behind. In addition, three of his victims were Asian American, including his two roommates, whom he called “repulsive” and “the biggest nerds I had ever seen.” Authorities say Rodger killed them, along with a third Asian male who may have been a visitor, at their shared apartment before heading out in his car with his multiple, legally purchased guns and ammunition and seeking out additional targets. All six killed by Rodger were UCSB students. More than a dozen were also wounded in the incident.

“What Role Did Elliot Rodger’s ‘Eurasian’ Status Play in His Rampage?” read the headline of Korean American writer Philip Chung’s blog on the YOMYOMF website. “Elliot Rodger’s manifesto shows self-hate fueled anti-Asian violence that kicked off Isla Vista rampage,” wrote Asian American journalist Emil Guillermo on his blog on the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund’s website.

Elliot Rodger was the son of Lichin Rodger, reportedly ethnically Chinese from Malaysia, and Peter Rodger, who is white and served as an assistant director on The Hunger Games. The Los Angeles Times reported that Elliot grew up privileged in the Southern California cities of Calabassas and Woodland Hills, and that his parents suspected he had some kind of autism spectrum disorder and had been in therapy since childhood. The newspaper also reported that Elliot had declined to take prescribed psychotropic drugs. The day of the killings, his parents, who are divorced, were apparently urgently trying to find their son, after reading a cryptic email he sent to them and one of Elliot’s therapists, the Times reported.

In Elliot’s manifesto, he described himself as a sexually frustrated young man who was being repeatedly rejected by women—in particular, the white, blonde women he coveted and whose attention he seemed to feel entitled to—and how angry he got when he witnessed “full-blooded” Asian males getting that attention.

“Rodger didn’t like being Asian, and he saw it as a flaw in his quest for women–especially his preference. The murderer preferred blondes,” wrote Guillermo in his blog. Guillermo cited comments like this in Rodger’s manifesto, which is full of both misogynistic and racist ranting:

I came across this Asian guy who was talking to a white girl. The sight of that filled me with rage. I always felt as if white girls thought less of me because I was half-Asian, but then I see this white girl at the party talking to a full-blooded Asian. I never had that kind of attention from a white girl! And white girls are the only girls I’m attracted to, especially the blondes. How could an ugly Asian attract the attention of a white girl, while a beautiful Eurasian like myself never had any attention from them? I thought with rage.

Chung, in his YOMYOMF blog, notes that “Rodger seems to have completely tipped over to the other side—rejecting his Asianness while holding up his whiteness as something that should automatically give him access to what he thinks he rightly deserves, in this case, the blonde white women he’s attracted to.”

“Perhaps he was just another lonely and troubled man—a self-described “victim” who felt his only recourse was to lash out and blame everyone else for his situation instead of taking responsibility for his own misogyny, racism and misplaced sense of privilege,” Chung wrote. “But I think the truth is more complicated than that ….”

A complete list of the victims killed in the shooting can be found here: http://m.nydailynews.com/news/national/names-faces-elliot-rodger-victims-article-1.1805488

Editor’s Note: The links from this story were not working properly at the time this blog was filed. Here are the links referenced in this article, in the order they appear:




Photo via AP.

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Three Koreans Found Dead at Family’s Restaurant in Philippines


Three Koreans—a married couple and their adult daughter—were found dead inside Han Ga Wi Restaurant in Barangay Maribago, Lapu-Lapu City in the Philippines on Thursday night.

The victims, who authorities said were lying on the ground with stab wounds, were identified as Ho An, his wife Kim Soonok and daughter Young Mi An, according to various news sources in the Philippines. The family owned the restaurant, police said.

Another Korean identified as Kim Se Wong, the husband of Young Mi An, was also found injured at the site of the crime, according to Chief Conrado Manatad of Mactan Police Station. Kim was taken into police custody and was transported to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center for treatment of several cuts on his wrists. He was found under the influence of alcohol, Manatad said.

Police are still investigating whether the wounds were self-inflicted by Kim Se Wong, if he was a targeted victim as well, or if he was involved in the crime.

There are varying media accounts of how the scene at the restaurant was discovered. One article reports that a Korean customer came to the restaurant, which opens daily at 10 a.m., and was surprised to find it closed at 6 p.m. The customer reportedly “checked” the restaurant and found bloodstains, and then immediately called police. Another article recounts a similar story; however, the customer who came by the restaurant is identified as male. It said that he and a guard nearby looked inside the restaurant to find the bloodstains and called the police.

A third account from Cebu’s Sun Star reports that the guard-on-duty, Sharon Inting, said that a Korean woman (not a man) who claimed to be a friend of the victims came to the restaurant around 5 p.m. The woman repeatedly knocked and called, finally asking Inting for help after no response.

Inting, who said that day was her first day of duty, went alone through the back door, which was found unlocked. She proceeded inside the premises, where she found blood on the floor and broken chairs in disarray.

According to the guard logbook, the outgoing guard Eborda Jr. recorded that he heard a commotion, a woman screaming, and objects breaking inside the restaurant at 2:23 a.m. He was reportedly unable to enter the restaurant due to locked doors. At 2:35 a.m., he recorded that no noise could be heard inside the restaurant.

The investigation is ongoing.


Attack on 4-Year-Old Asian Girl at Walmart Deemed A Hate Crime

In an episode authorities described as “every parent’s worst nightmare”—and now, also a hate crime—a 4-year-old Asian girl was attacked by a tire-iron wielding woman at a San Jose Wal-Mart earlier this week.

The girl and her father were shopping at a Wal-Mart in the Little Saigon district of East San Jose on Tuesday morning, when Maria Garate walked up to the girl and struck her on the head with a tire iron, authorities said. The girl’s father then tried to cover his daughter with his body and was also struck with the tire iron. On-site security personnel detained the woman until police arrived and arrested her.

On Thursday Garate, a San Jose woman described by authorities as a transient, was in court facing attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon charges, as well as hate crime enhancements. She faces up to life in prison if convicted.

“Based on evidence we do have, the victims were targeted because they are Asian,” said Santa Clara Deputy District Attorney Kalila Spain. “This is a premeditated, willful and deliberate act on her part.”

Spain said that the injured girl was taken to the hospital after the incident, but is now recovering at home.

The San Jose Mercury News reported that one source told the newspaper that Garate had expressed disappointment to authorities that she had not injured the girl more seriously.

Garate is being held without bail at Santa Clara County jail. Her next court date is May 23.

Photo via ABC 30 Action News.