charges dropped in san gabriel mayor purse-snatching case

In San Gabriel, California, prosecutors have dropped all charges against former mayor Albert Y.M. Huang, who was arrested in a crazy-ass robbery/battery incident last October. They are unable to pursue the case because the alleged victim has apparently disappeared: D.A. will not file charges against former San Gabriel Mayor Huang.

If you recall, Huang was arrested after driving at high speeds with 33-year-old Lu Chen hanging on to the outside of his car. The two reportedly had an argument inside a restaurant, and some dumplings were thrown, before the conflict spilled out into the parking lot, and all the purse-snatching, high-speed craziness ensued.

According to documents filed by the deputy district attorney, Lu Chen has left the country, and is not scheduled to return to the United States any time soon. With insufficient evidence to file charges, they have to drop the case:
In the days immediately following Huang's arrest, authorities couldn't find Chen.

"She was located," said Sgt. Brian Kott of the San Gabriel Police Department. "She was initially cooperative at the scene for us to collect enough evidence to conduct an arrest."

An interview with Chen was conducted at the time, Kott said.

The case was submitted to the D.A.'s office days after the arrest but was returned to San Gabriel authorities pending further investigation, Kott said.

"We completed the follow-up investigation the D.A. required and basically they're unable to file charges because they need access to the victim," Kott said. "She was less-than-cooperative and before we could complete the interview she was out of the country."

Kott said he doesn't know what exactly made Chen leave. He last spoke to her a month ago.

"The reason really is it's truthfully an uncooperative witness and lack of collaboration that a crime occurred," said Huang's lawyer Darren Cornforth. "Based on these two problems there's insufficient evidence to file charges."
The incident was deemed a domestic violence case because the pair had been romantically involved. Huang resigned just a few days after the incident, but maintained his innocence, calling it a "great misunderstanding."

To be honest, I was sort of hoping this case would go to trial, if only so we could really hear how it all went down. More here: Mayor who got into food fight will not be charged. And for a good laugh, check out NextMedia's CGI interpretation of incident.

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