NY man who claims self-defense in Chinatown katana slashing sentenced to prison

NY man who claims self-defense in Chinatown katana slashing sentenced to prisonNY man who claims self-defense in Chinatown katana slashing sentenced to prison
via FOX 5 New York
Ryan General
April 24, 2024
An Asian American man has been sentenced to prison after using a katana blade to defend himself and his brother against a group of five men during a 2020 brawl in New York’s Chinatown.
Key points:
  • On Tuesday, a Manhattan court sentenced John Ong to two and a half years in prison and three years of supervised release for second-degree assault after a plea deal, reported ABC7’s CeFaan Kim. He originally faced a much steeper charge of attempted murder, which carries a potential sentence of 15 years.
  • Max Ong received five years of probation with a criminal record after he plea-bargained for 2nd-degree assault. None of the other men involved were charged.
Catch up:
  • On Oct. 10, 2020, brothers John and Max Ong were involved in a violent altercation with a group of men who they confronted for urinating on their building.
  • Video shows John Ong retrieving a katana blade and injuring one attacker in the forearm.
  • The Ongs said they were acting in self-defense after being subjected to racial slurs and physical assault.
  • The injured man’s family disputes the Ong brothers’ version of events.
The details:
  • The defense argued that the other men involved instigated the violence with racial slurs and physical attacks. 
  • Max claims he was severely beaten, noting that he blacked out after hearing his own skull cracking and ears ringing. One of the men reportedly threatened, “Get me my bag, I’m going to shank this (racial slur).” John then retrieved a katana blade, leading the men to initially retreat before continuing their attack.
  • While the defense highlighted the injuries the brothers sustained, the prosecution argued John’s actions were excessive.
  • A spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg told WABC that they concluded “there was no evidence to charge any other individual at the scene with criminal conduct.”
  • On April 16, Chinatown residents and activists protested outside Bragg’s office. Advocates posit that the prosecution against the brothers demonstrates unfair treatment of Asian Americans defending themselves.
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