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Chinese American man beaten by Korean Americans in alleged hate-crime attack, authorities say

February 24, 2011 | 10:13 am

Two Korean Americans were in jail Thursday, two others were released on bail and two more were being sought in connection with the robbery and assault of a Chinese American man in Diamond Bar in what authorities described as a hate crime.

The Feb. 6 incident began when the 25-year-old victim placed an order for takeout at a Korean restaurant in the 18300 block of East Colima Road in Rowland Heights, said Sgt. Steven Kim of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department's Asian Gang Team.

A group of seven Korean American men were eating inside the restaurant when one of them approached the victim, whose name was not released, and asked if he was Korean. He responded that he was Chinese and shortly after received his order and left the restaurant.

The man who had approached the victim followed him outside, accompanied by five other men. Once outside, the suspects began beating the victim with their hands and feet “for no apparent reason,” Kim said.

The suspects then vandalized the victim’s car, “causing hundreds if not thousands of dollars in damage,” Kim said. It was later determined they had stolen the victim’s wallet and taken his GPS navigator.

Several bystanders intervened to stop the assault. Kim said the man “suffered numerous cuts and bruises all over his body, including a large cut on the top of his head, which required medical staples.”

Deputies from the Walnut station tracked down and arrested one of the suspects, identified by authorities as Jachin Yi, 18, of Diamond Bar, after witnesses came forward with a license plate number. Deputies also arrested Peter Kim, 19, after they found his ATM card in the parking lot where the man had been beaten.

Investigators also recovered a surveillance video from the restaurant, which placed the suspects and victim inside prior to the assault, Kim said.

The at-large suspects were identified by authorities as members or associates of the Korean American street gang “Asian Mafia Assassins,” based in eastern L.A. County.

Investigators on Tuesday arrested Hwan Joon Huh, 29, of Diamond Bar, and Jae Du, 25, of West Covina, in their homes. Efforts to track down at least two other suspects were continuing, Kim said.

Suspects Yi and Kim were formally charged by the L.A. County District Attorney's office with robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and hate crimes. They have since been released on bail of $80,000 and $50,000, respectively.

Suspects Huh and Du were being held at the Walnut sheriff’s station on $100,000 bail each, on suspicion of robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, and hate crimes. Formal charges were expected to be filed Thursday, Kim said.


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