A group of men and women, including volunteers for state Assembly candidate Myungsuk Lee’s campaign, were arrested and charged with assault and unlawful imprisonment last weekend following a fracas in the hopeful’s campaign office, the Queens district attorney said.
But Lee denied the confrontation had anything to do with his campaign for the Flushing Assembly seat, which was won by Ron Kim in last Thursday’s Democratic Party primary.
At about 1 p.m. Saturday, a paid worker collecting a check at the campaign office, at 35-25 149th St., told police he was held against his will in the office, restrained and beaten before being stuffed inside a waiting car outside and driven away, according to a criminal complaint filed by the DA.
“I’m bringing you to my boys to teach you a lesson,” a man named Hye Chung told the victim after he had been forced into the car, the complaint said.
Chung was arrested along with four others from Queens and Long Island: Young Choi, Kug Kim, Yung Chung and Hyun Lee.
The complaint did not identify any of the defendants as working with Lee’s campaign, and none were listed on Lee’s payroll, according to documents from the state Board of Elections.
But Yung Chung was a volunteer for Lee’s campaign, the Assembly candidate said, and Hye Chung and Hyun Lee may have volunteered on Primary Day, though Lee was not positive.
Yung Chung also owns All Star Realty, a company that rented space to Lee’s campaign office. Hyun Lee is an employee there and had lent money to the victim completely separate from the campaign, Lee said.
“This was a personal matter between Hyun Lee and [the accuser],” he said.
Both Lee and documents from the DA suggested that the man owed Hyun Lee money, although the two accounts differ on how she tried to get it back.
According to the criminal complaint, she blocked the door while Yung Chung and Choi restrained the man and Hyun Lee’s husband, Hye Chung, punched him in the face and dragged him out to a car driven by Kim.
Lee said that after a heated argument where a large shelving unit fell over in the office and several people were injured, Hye Chung simply wanted to discuss the matter of the outstanding money in a calmer environment and got into the car with the man to drive somewhere else. That man then got out of the car and flagged down police.
“All those people are very frustrated,” Lee said.
The five men and women are due back in court Oct. 30.
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.
©2012 Community News Group
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