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zulater 06-05-2011 08:35 AM

Is this really murder?

OAKLAND, Calif. -- A 14-year-old California boy has been charged with murder after prosecutors say a robbery attempt led a market owner to have a fatal heart attack.

Dong Suk Kang died Tuesday after the boy tried to steal two bottles of vodka from the store in Oakland and a struggle ensued.

When the teen fled, Kang jumped in his car to give chase and lost consciousness a few blocks away. He died at a hospital.

Autopsy results are pending, but prosecutors say it appears the 57-year-old had a heart attack.

The Oakland Tribune reports that authorities filed murder and robbery charges Friday.

Alameda County prosecutor Allison Danzig says if someone dies during a violent crime, the offender is responsible for the death.

The teen's name hasn't been released.

Ok I get it, the kid is responsible to some degree for the death, but does this really amount to murder? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for punishing criminals to the full extent of the law, but as a society have we really regressed to the point that we're going to potentially put away a teenager for a good portion of his life over a simple act of shoplifting? Now I understand why the store owner might have been pissed, but once that kid left the premises did he really need to chase him down? For two lousy bottles of vodka? Dude call the police, I'm sure you have video surveilance in that store, your life wasn't in danger, there was no reason to be a hero and vigilante.

Look I understand there's a good chance the kid is rotten to the core, and this if not the first, wont be the last criminal offense commited by this kid ( yeah a 14 year old is a kid folks), but we also can't assume that. I know a lot of decent upstanding people that have a incident or two of shoplifting in their distant past. Obviously things went horribly wrong in this case, but in my opinion the store owners overreaction ( and likely poor health) was what caused the death.

Sure the kid deserves more punishment than a simple shoplifting charge, a 2nd degree manslaughter charge seems to be in order , put the kid away for a few years in juvy, but not in an adult prison! This kid needs a roadmap, not a beatdown.

Anyway reading the comments to the story I feel as though I've gone back in time, I'd swear some of these people would just love it if we adopted our own form of Sharia law. :doh:

SteelersinCA 06-06-2011 09:44 AM

Re: Is this really murder?
Felony murder -

It wasn't simple shoplifting, it became a robbery, which is the requisite felony, when he struggled with the man. There is a distinction under the law. Maybe the kid was punching and kicking him, maybe not. Clearly, a robbery falls under the felony murder doctrine and the prosecution is right charging him with murder. He'll most likely be offered a plea deal that won't include serious prison time.

Additionally the Penal Code in CA explicitly states it is not designed for rehabilitation, it is designed for punishment. If he needs a road map he should have committed felony murder in a state that rehabs criminals.

SteelersinCA 06-06-2011 09:50 AM

Re: Is this really murder?

Looks like more than a simple shoplifting to me.


(06-04) 12:01 PDT OAKLAND -- A 14-year-old boy has been charged with murder and robbery for allegedly causing an Oakland store owner to die of a heart attack after a violent confrontation over two bottles of vodka, authorities said.

The defendant, whose name was not released because of his age, is being held at Alameda County Juvenile Hall for the death of Dong Suk Kang, 57, owner of Oak Knoll Market at 7980 Mountain Blvd. Kang, who lived in San Bruno, died of an apparent heart attack after he chased the juvenile outside his store, said Allison Danzig, a senior deputy district attorney.

The teenager, a freshman at Youth Empowerment School, was charged as a juvenile. He faces murder and robbery charges under the theory that although he may not have intended for Kang to die, he is legally responsible because the victim died during the course of a violent crime, Danzig said.

On Tuesday, the boy came into the store with two teenage girls and was immediately recognized by Kang, who had previously banned him from the business for disturbances such as knocking over display cases and yelling at employees, authorities said.

The boy took two bottles of vodka and was confronted by Kang, Danzig said. The boy pushed and shoved the store owner and punched him in the face before fleeing, authorities said.

Kang got into his Toyota to follow the teenager but apparently suffered a heart attack while behind the wheel, authorities said. His car swerved to a stop several blocks away. Investigators believe the heart attack was triggered by anxiety that the confrontation caused, authorities said.

Kang's wife of two years, In Cha Ho, 60, was back at work at the store Saturday, the same day as her husband's funeral. Ho said she sees Kang's clothes and belongings at home and feels "crazy," prompting her to stay busy by running the business.

"He was a nice person," Ho said of her husband, who worked seven days a week at the store.

She called the youth a troublemaker who harassed store employees about once a week for the past several months, throwing things and balking at paying for things he deemed too expensive.

"I don't know what kind of family he has," she said. "I feel sorry for his parents."

E-mail Henry K. Lee at

This article appeared on page D - 2 of the San Francisco Chronicle

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MasterOfPuppets 06-06-2011 03:31 PM

Re: Is this really murder?
sounds to me like the little punk was destined to end up in prison anyway ? might as well save society the grief later on and get his ass off the streets now. :noidea:

harrison'samonster 06-06-2011 07:09 PM

Re: Is this really murder?
i'm a pretty liberal minded person and I believe that putting a 14 year old in prison for a few years will only make him more of a problem for society later in his life.

but I have little sympathy for people who break the law. A man lost his life because of this kid's decisions. Personally, I think we need a prison colony like England had Australia. Send them away, let them live their life, but we don't need people around who don't consider the consequences to their actions.

stb_steeler 06-06-2011 08:37 PM

Re: Is this really murder?
:noidea: All i can say is, kids dont get corrected the way i did back in the day. Good ole ass whoopin!...No not today, its abuse now!

tony hipchest 06-07-2011 10:36 AM

Re: Is this really murder?
the real question here is why anyone would name their child Dong Suk.

stb_steeler 06-07-2011 05:25 PM

Re: Is this really murder?

Originally Posted by tony hipchest (Post 930787)
the real question here is why anyone would name their child Dong Suk.

:rofl: With a name like that...who wouldnt cry out in crime!

Wallace108 06-08-2011 12:53 AM

Re: Is this really murder?

Originally Posted by tony hipchest (Post 930787)
the real question here is why anyone would name their child Dong Suk.


And here I thought it couldn't get any better than Anthony Weiner. :chuckle:

vasteeler 06-08-2011 10:17 AM

Re: Is this really murder?
i dont think you should be able to get the guy for murder, the old man was probably a bad nightmare away from having the heart attack any way

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