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Westridge sheriff’s deputy relieved of duty following shooting

Incident reportedly prompted by ‘ding-dong-ditch’ pranksters

Posted: October 14, 2013 5:53 p.m.
Updated: October 14, 2013 5:53 p.m.

SANTA CLARITA - An off-duty sheriff’s deputy who allegedly fired his service weapon in the air after prankster kids rang his doorbell has been temporarily relieved of duty and is under investigation, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Monday.

Deputy Sung J. Pak of Westridge is the subject of an investigation by the department’s Internal Criminal Investigations Branch, spokesman Steve Whitmore said Monday.

The alleged confrontation between the off-duty deputy and the pranksters happened Saturday about 8 p.m. on Greenleaf Court.

“An off-duty deputy who fired his service weapon after kids were playing a prank on him is relieved of duty,” Whitmore said, adding there is a possibility the incident is a case of criminal negligence of a weapon.

“Apparently, juveniles were playing a prank called ding-dong-ditch, where they ring the doorbell and run away,” Whitmore said, noting there were reportedly 15 to 20 kids involved.

“(Pak) ran after the juveniles trying to identify them,” he said. “Apparently, three of the kids were physically larger than the others and turned toward Pak in a threatening manner,

“The deputy identified himself as a sheriff’s deputy and fired a warning shot in the air.”

The Greenleaf incident is one of two weekend reports involving gunfire, according to sheriff’s officials.

In a separate, unrelated incident, some residents on Esterbrook Drive in Canyon Country were jolted from their sleep by the sound of gunfire Saturday night, prompting the response of several local sheriff’s deputies, said Deputy Josh Dubin.

Shortly before midnight Saturday, deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station responded to reports of gunfire on the Canyon Country street, he said.

“Gun shots were heard in the area of Esterbrook (Avenue) and Newhouse (Street),” he said. “Numerous deputies responded and couldn’t find any evidence of a shooting or gunshots.”

No report was written up on the incident by responding deputies, he said.

“It scared my husband and me silly,” said one Esterbrook resident. “We were sound asleep when we heard it. It was so loud ... it sounded like they were standing on my porch.”
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