- Associated Press - Saturday, December 13, 2014

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) - A northeastern Pennsylvania man shot by a police officer is disputing authorities’ account of the shooting and says he was only selling drugs to try to pay for a Christmas gift for his son.

Bong Bob Kim, 30, of Wilkes-Barre is facing charges of aggravated assault, drug trafficking and fleeing police and is being held at Luzerne County Correctional Center in lieu of $200,000 bail.

Kim told The (Wilkes-Barre) Citizens’ Voice (https://bit.ly/1INbTzE ) in an interview Friday at the prison that he held warehouse jobs until several years ago but lost his job in Pittston because he no longer had a way to get there. Since then, he said, he has “lived a rough life,” making ends meet by breeding pit bulls, helping an uncle on odd jobs and shoveling snow in the winter.

Kim, who acknowledged some use of drugs as well as having taken prescription medication for anxiety and depression, said he made a bad choice as the holidays approached, contacting some people he knew to get some crack.

“I just sold that one little thing to get a Christmas present for my son,” Kim said. “I did wrong, but I didn’t deserve to be shot in the back.”

Kim said he was driving away from the Nov. 19 deal with what turned out to be a police informant but stopped when ordered to do so and put his hands in the air, but was shot anyway. He said a bullet narrowly missed his heart, and his spleen had to be removed and he was left with liver and intestinal damage.

Police said Kim did put his hands up, but then reached to the back seat and sped backward, away from the officers through the congested shopping center parking lot. After he was blocked in by police vehicles and the two officers approached again, police said, Kim again put his hands up but then hit the gas again and sped forward in the direction of the officers, prompting one to fire three times.

District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis earlier said the shooting was justified, clearing the way for the officer to return to work.


Information from: The Citizens’ Voice, https://www.citizensvoice.com

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