Former Officer Sentenced to Prison for Off-Duty Threat

A former Los Angeles police officer, who was off  duty when he pulled a gun and threatened a man at the Redondo Beach Pier, was  sentenced Tuesday to four years and four months in state prison.

"Your conduct does require state prison," Los Angeles Superior Court  Judge Stephen A. Marcus told David Woon Chong following his no contest plea to  making a criminal threat. "Your actions were not justifiable."

Chong, 39, also admitted using a gun during the commission of the March  15, 2008, crime.

"I do think the conduct by the defendant was very, very serious," the  judge said.

Noting that Chong had served 10 years in the Los Angeles Police  Department and three years in the U.S. Army, Marcus said he believed the former  officer could create a new life after being released from prison. As a result of his plea to the criminal threat charge, Chong withdrew  his May plea to an assault with a firearm charge stemming from the same  incident.

Authorities said he pointed a handgun at the man's head during one of  two confrontations.

"I think that given the (defendant's) actions and everything that I  know about the defendant, that it's a fair sentence," Deputy District Attorney  Amy Pellman Pentz said afterward.

"I'm very disappointed," Chong's attorney, Gerson S. Horn, said of the  prison sentence. "In my mind, this is a perfect case for probation."

Chong has since been diagnosed as bipolar, "finally put on the  appropriate medication" and stopped drinking, his lawyer said.

Chong -- who received "all kinds of commendations" during his LAPD  tenure -- has since been fired by the department, according to his attorney. 

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