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Deputy who allegedly fired revolver in response to prank is arrested

Posted: May 19, 2014 11:25 a.m.
Updated: May 19, 2014 11:25 a.m.

A sheriff’s deputy who allegedly fired his service revolver into the air after neighborhood kids pulled a prank has been arrested on suspicion of discharging a firearm with gross negligence, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Deputy Sung Jin Pak, 47, of Westridge, was arrested Friday night on the misdemeanor weapons charge in connection with an alleged “ding dong ditch” incident on Greenleaf Court that occurred in October.

Pak has been suspended with pay for the past six months while sheriff’s detectives with the Internal Criminal Investigations Branch look into the matter, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said last month.

“The arrest stems from an incident that happened on Oct. 12,” Nishida said Monday.

Pak is scheduled to appear in Newhall Municipal Court July 16, said District Attorney spokeswoman Shiara Dávila-Morales.

In the criminal complain submitted to prosecutors, LASD Sgt. Kelly Matthews of the Internal Criminal Investigations Branch explained the single criminal count filed against Pak.

“On or about Oct. 12, 2013, in the County of Los Angeles, the crime of discharge of firearm with gross negligence in violation of Penal code Section 2465.3(a), a misdemeanor, was committed by Sung Jin Pak, who did willfully and unlawfully discharge a firearm in a grossly negligent manner which could result in injury and death to a person,” according to a copy of the complaint obtained by The Signal.

The alleged confrontation between Pak and pranksters happened about 8 p.m. Oct. 12.

“Apparently, juveniles were playing a prank called ding-dong-ditch, where they ring the doorbell and run away,” then-LASD spokesman Steve Whitmore said, noting there were reportedly 15 to 20 kids involved.

When they pulled their prank on Pak’s home, he “ran after the juveniles trying to identify them,” Whitmore said. “Apparently, three of the kids were physically larger than the others and turned toward Pak in a threatening manner,

“The deputy identified himself as a sheriff’s deputy and fired a warning shot in the air,” Whitmore said.


on Twitter @jamesarthurholt


17trillion: Posted: May 19, 2014 11:37 a.m.

It took 7 months, WHILE HE GOT PAID, to come to this conclusion? Insanity is the new sanity.

CaptGene: Posted: May 19, 2014 12:17 p.m.

If I had done this they would have put me in jail while they investigated and my employer would not have paid me, why is it different for a cop?

Nobody needs to answer; it's a rhetorical question.

Unreal: Posted: May 19, 2014 1:13 p.m.

LASD spokesman Steve Whitmore was sure not unbiased. He went out of his way to try to frame the evidence in a way that supported the deputy involved.

I am glad to see that now the courts can look at this idiot and not just have the standard cover up. Unless of course the DA refuses to go forward with charges. They like to "work" with the dept. too.

Let's make sure they don't forget that the deputy had been drinking at the time too.

johnnyrock: Posted: May 19, 2014 1:27 p.m.

Wow............and we are supposed to rely on this craphead?

johnnyrock: Posted: May 19, 2014 1:27 p.m.

I mean poophead

chefgirl358: Posted: May 19, 2014 1:47 p.m.

It's not LASD's fault, it's the D.A's fault. They don't arrest them until the D.A. has decided whether or not to actually file criminal charges on the person.

timothymyers02: Posted: May 19, 2014 2:27 p.m.


Does the DA control whether or not they put the guy on a paid vacation (or in this case paid severance).

stevehw: Posted: May 19, 2014 3:23 p.m.

I didn't see where he'd been fired yet...I imagine he's *still* getting paid.

Anthony8677: Posted: May 19, 2014 3:46 p.m.

...must be another one of those 'bad apples' you always hear about...


chefgirl358: Posted: May 19, 2014 7:57 p.m.

Timmyers, nope, his union and dept policy control that. I agree that it shouldn't happen that way and it shouldn't take so long, but the peace officers bill of rights is set up to protect good cops from bad people making false allegations, unfortunately the flip side is that you get a few bad cops that end up getting paid while they're being investigated until the D.A. Files charges. LASD deps are paid until the d.a. files actual criminal charges, then they are immediately terminated. I don't know if other depts work exactly the same, but I'm certain it's pretty close if not identical.

stevehw: Posted: May 19, 2014 8:16 p.m.

As I said's a damned good thing the kids didn't put a flaming bag of dog poop on his doorstep! Might have sent him into a full-on shooting rampage!

Better question that needs to be did this guy get on the force? And what other shenanigans has he pulled that we don't know about?

SCV123: Posted: May 19, 2014 8:23 p.m.

I'm sure the children involved were resisting (ding dong DITCH sure sounds like "running from the police") and reaching for something inside their hoodies when shots were fired. Nothing to see here. Just another hero acting in accordance with department policies.

TruthandJustice: Posted: May 19, 2014 8:34 p.m.

Well, the VALENCIA SHOOTER has finally had charges filed, albeit light weight misdemeanor charges designed for an easy plea bargain. All while the Valencia Shooter was being paid full LASD Deputy salary of over $7,010.91 monthly (that is per LASD website)not to mention full medical, and other benefits afforded to law abiding LASD employees. Now what could have taken over 7 months, or 210 days? This seems like the SHOOTER is being treated specially, giving him time to sell his house. Beware realtors, MAN WITH A GUN!!! Wear a vest during open house, this guy is a HOT HEAD! The community needs some tranquility, not some crazed shooter, intoxicated out of his mind.

TruthandJustice: Posted: May 19, 2014 8:38 p.m.

Oh yeah, this WHITLESS guy is worthless to the community he serves.

DMeyer: Posted: May 20, 2014 9:13 p.m.

chefgirl is right. See 3300 PC. The law has protections for law enforcement officers built into it to guard against false allegations made against them. Now that prosecutors have decided to file criminal charges his pay has stopped and the sheriffs department will terminate him.

@stevehw "how did this guy get on the force?" The LASD and the LAPD have both lowered hiring standards in order to attract more minority candidates so they could have a more diverse department to match the diverse communities they's the price we pay in a politically correct world.

stevehw: Posted: May 20, 2014 9:47 p.m.

Because white guys in sheriff's uniforms would *never* do anything like this, right? It's because he's a minority????


CaptGene: Posted: May 20, 2014 10:28 p.m.

Wow steve, a little touchy, don't you think? Read for comprehension, and try to keep your knee jerk reactions in check. From DMeyer's post: "The LASD and the LAPD have both lowered hiring standards..." Nobody said it was because he was a minority, but since you have a predisposition to accuse people of racism, that's what you assumed.


stevehw: Posted: May 20, 2014 11:06 p.m.

Oh,'s not because *he's* a minority, but it's because minorities aren't smart/tough/something enough to meet the standards to be a deputy, so they had to lower the standards, thus allowing guys like this to make the cut.

In other words, *in the absence of any sort of evidence*, it's because of minorities that a guy like this was on the force.

No, *that's* not racist at all.

Rocketeer: Posted: May 20, 2014 12:56 a.m.

stevehw said: "I didn't see where he'd been fired yet...I imagine he's *still* getting paid."
Well, of course. He's a member of one of those public sector unions you liberals are always telling us are such a good idea. Just like all the teachers of students who can't read. Fire them? That would be like Reagan, who you excoriated for firing the air traffic controllers.

"how did this guy get on the force?"
Well, in a true meritocracy only the best would be hired. But then we wouldn't have enough minorities. So, we lower standards to get more minorities and end up with people like this.

Yeah, Steve-O, liberals like YOU are exactly why things like this happen. This is the result of YOUR votes. Your only comment should be "sorry I caused this."

ricketzz: Posted: May 20, 2014 7:02 a.m.

Diversity is good for any formerly white male dominated institution. Now if we can just weed out the bullies...

CaptGene: Posted: May 20, 2014 7:30 a.m.

Facts don't have a racial bias steve, racists do. Your default position is that any time race is brought into the discussion, in any context, the person mentioning it must be racist, that sounds like projection to me.

The fact is that the LASD has lowered their standards. The recruits that are getting in have a lower standard to meet, regardless of race. When I applied, in the 80's you had to pass a PAT, or Physical Agility Test. Ask a young sheriff what the PAT is today and they will give you the RCA dog stare.

Unreal: Posted: May 20, 2014 8:07 a.m.

So the lower standard has now been used because many of the minorities or females applying could not pass the tests? These are physical and intelligence tests right? I am sure we need to blame the old tests.

So now we have a bunch of lower IQ people on the LASD of every race? Great. That explains some of the issues we have. The Fire Dept. is the same way now.
Too bad if they are as dumb as Gomer Pyle they aren't as nice.

I think it is not wrong to point out the truth about what happened and why.
That is just history. It is wrong to lower the standard for anyone no matter what the color or gender a person is. The problem is that now a lot of these
lower achieving persons (of various colors and genders) are now in charge and how much are they willing to change the policies that got them their jobs? They can't even admit it to themselves.

17trillion: Posted: May 20, 2014 8:15 a.m.


We're not racist against Asians, just other minority groups. Asians are the good minority...other than this guy.

LosRubios: Posted: May 20, 2014 8:19 a.m.

This has nothing to do with race, just poor judgment on the part of an individual who over reacted to a particular circumstance (admittedly a similar type of poor judgment that lead to the now jailed founder of Pinkberry returning to a road junction and beating a panhandler with a tire iron for 'disrespecting' him). Had the person not been a sheriff, they would probably have already made their way through the judicial system.

chefgirl358: Posted: May 20, 2014 8:32 a.m.

LosRubios...great analogy! I read about the Pinkberry guy months ago when he was at trial. Very parallel type of story in terms of the personality glitches of both the aforementioned deputy and the Pinkberry guy...they're both totally tweaked.

17trillion: Posted: May 20, 2014 9:20 a.m.

Everything has to do with race! Where have you been the last 5.5 years?

johnnyrock: Posted: May 20, 2014 3:44 p.m.


alabi2k: Posted: May 21, 2014 4:02 p.m.

All this talk back and forth, and no one has mentioned a thing about the punk kids that have the privilege of living in an upscale neighborhood, albeit with with obviously lousy parents.
If I'd of pulled this type of crap as a kid I would have gotten my a** beat by my parents.
Firing a handgun into the air in a residential neighborhood is clearly reckless, but perhaps these kids will think twice before they prank someone else.

stevehw: Posted: May 22, 2014 11:10 p.m.

Oh, for God's sakes..."punk kids"? Playing "ding dong ditch 'em"? Seriously?

When did life get so freaking *serious*?

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