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Friend defends Valencia threat suspect

Posted: September 21, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 21, 2012 2:00 a.m.

A friend of Eric Ting Yee says a tight-knit group of Valencia High School grads has rallied behind their pal, who was arrested for allegedly posting threats to murder children.

“He would never harm another human being, and if he was ever confronted, would approach the situation in an amicable manner with reason,” said Andrew Bang, who said he has known Yee for more than nine years.

Bang phoned The Signal on Thursday in what he called an effort to put the accused threat-maker in perspective.

“The comments that were made are not excusable,” Bang said, prefacing his praise of Yee as a “an outstanding young man who sincerely cares about other people.”

Yee, Bang and the other Valencia friends enjoyed the same films, Internet interaction and video games, he said.

“We had a big Internet cultural following,” he said. “We always stayed together.”

Yee graduated from Valencia in the class of 2008.

Although Yee has been described as a Yale University dropout, Bang said it was his understanding his friend had graduated from the economics program there.

Bang said he and Yee have been friends since the Yee family moved from Los Angeles’ Chinatown in 1993.

He and the rest of the Valencia friends are planning to show their support for Yee at the young man’s next scheduled court appearance next month.

“It breaks my heart to see him torn apart by lies and manipulation,” Bang wrote in a followup email.

Yee was arrested Monday for allegedly posting a threat against children on an ESPN website. Deputies who searched his home on Edenton Place, overlooking two local schools, seized at least two handguns and a semi-automatic H&K M-94 assault rifle.

Yee is expected to appear back in San Fernando Superior Court on Oct. 16.



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