View Mobile Site

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos

Not guilty plea entered for former deputy charged with firing gun after prank

Incident allegedly took place following 'ding dong ditch' prank in Stevenson Ranch

Posted: July 16, 2014 1:26 p.m.
Updated: July 16, 2014 7:17 p.m.

Defense attorney James E. Blatt, right, enters a plea of not guilty for Sung Jin Pak at the Newhall Municipal Court Wednesday as Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey S. Gootman looks on.


A not-guilty plea was entered Wednesday for a retired sheriff’s deputy charged with firing his gun after neighborhood kids played a “ding dong ditch” prank on him.

Attorneys for Sung Jin Pak, 47, of Stevenson Ranch, who faces one misdemeanor count of discharge of a firearm with gross negligence, entered the plea for him in Newhall Municipal Court. Pak did not appear for the plea entry.

“We want to enter a plea of not guilty,” attorney James E. Blatt told Judge Valerie Salkin.

Salkin then asked prosecutors about a “firearm condition, and Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey S. Gootman replied: “Yes, we are asking that he is not to use or own any firearms.”

Gootman noted Pak had been in possession of two weapons. One was his “regular duty weapon,” which was turned in upon retirement, and the second was the firearm believed to have been used in the alleged gun-shooting offense.

“The second weapon is now evidence,” he said.

The judge ruled that Pak is not to own or use any firearm.

He faces a misdemeanor charge of discharging a firearm with gross negligence after allegedly chasing a group of children who had played a prank known as “ding dong ditch,” in which the prankster rings someone’s door bell and then runs away. Pak allegedly chased the kids who rang the bell at his Stevenson Ranch home and fired a gun into the air in the process, Gootman said.

Pak, who was still with the Sheriff’s Department at the time of the incident Oct. 12, 2013, is scheduled to appear back in court Aug. 21.

If convicted as charged, Pak faces a maximum of 365 days in county jail.

He remains under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
On Twitter @jamesarthurholt




TruthandJustice: Posted: July 17, 2014 2:06 a.m.

It is amazing that the LASD allowed this fool to retire, at taxpayers expense. This crazy man shot at kids, what a nut job. The LASD should be ashamed and it appears the LA County DA is in on this sweetheart deal. Let me predict the outcome....hmmm. Credit time served, anger management courses, summary probation. He will NEVER do jail time. This is a nothing filing by the District Attorney. As for his attorney he is walking this klown through the system. This is a miscarriage of justice. Keep in mind this guy was investigated by LASD internal criminal team. Let's not forget that the LIEUTENANT from this very unit, who investigated this wayward whack job was just CONVICTED for obstruction of justice charges, interfering with an internal investigation of another deputy. This convicted MANAGER from the LASD also lived in Valencia. Coincidence? This whole investigation makes me distrust the whole system. Where is the booking photo from the Valencia SHOOTER? This man is a menace to our community. Apparently shooting at kids is the same at shooting at a coyote. No justice no peace.

DMeyer: Posted: July 17, 2014 2:55 a.m.


This dummy is no longer a cop, obviously he doesn't deserve to be one. Why are you upset that he retired? He retired before the LASD had the chance to fire him.

As for jail time, he is being charged with a misdemeanor, the governor is letting thousands of felons out of jail early because evidently there is no room to house them (I hope you didn't vote for Moonbeam Brown), the reality is that our state will not jail misdemeanor offenders who have no previous criminal records so why would you expect this case to be different? And just to enlighten you on the facts, he did not shoot at the kids he fired a warning shot into the air.

Bottom line, this guy committed a crime and lost his job and he has been charged with a crime, isn't that justice?

Just wondering, where was your no justice no peace comment when Christopher Hubbart got released? Didn't that make you distrust the whole system?

TruthandJustice: Posted: July 17, 2014 10:21 a.m.

Maybe he was shooting at the man in the moon.

Unreal: Posted: July 17, 2014 10:51 a.m.

Those who are officers should be held to a higher code. However I am ok with his losing his job and having no guns. I don't really see the need for him to do jail time. Anger management should be required. If he served for 20 years or so with a good record I am ok with his receiving his retirement.

chefgirl358: Posted: July 17, 2014 11:25 a.m.

Yeah, I'm with DM on this one. It's just a misdemeanor charge, he won't serve any time and there isn't a job on earth that won't allow you to retire Truth & Justice. Here's a newsflash, like it or not, these cops pay into their own retirement...quite a lot, like to the tune of $1000 per month, so they have earned some of that money. He is still young and doesn't have enough years on to get a decent pension, this won't be a guy earning his annual salary, he's going to end up with a fairly small percentage of his pension.

I am not defending his actions, I think he really made a hugely stupid decision in doing what he did, but I think losing his job and whatever the court decides to punish him with, is good enough for the offense. Frankly, he probably got a lot more punishment for this than the average citizen would for exactly the same thing.

missyJk: Posted: July 17, 2014 12:44 p.m.

hehehe someone wrote a funny post...perhaps he can apply for a job as one of the "water cops" the state is looking for, he can carry a water pistol and if things get out of hand a supersoaker

chefgirl358: Posted: July 17, 2014 2:48 p.m.

That IS funny!

sixsixonestyle: Posted: July 20, 2014 12:14 a.m.

this is such BS, he deserves to go to jail... Just another dumb ass officer getting away with breaking the law they swore to up hold.... Grrr

You need to be a registered user to post a comment. Please click here to register.

The Signal encourages readers to interact with one another, following the guidelines outlined in our Comment/Moderation Policy. Click here to read it.

To report offensive or inappropriate comments, e-mail The content posted from readers of does not necessarily represent the views of The Signal or Morris Multimedia. By submitting this form you agree to the terms and conditions listed above. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.


Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...