Domestic Abuse in a Moving Car or Simply a Misunderstanding?


By Jaycee Horng

ORANGE – Judge M. Marc Kelly met with a witness on Thursday morning to discuss Christopher Young Pak’s alleged physical abuse of his partner.

The incident took place on June 29, 2019, in a moving car. With opening statements from both attorneys, there were two compelling sides of the story.

The witness’s attorney explained that the defendant was seen driving a vehicle while abusing his girlfriend. He seemingly grabbed the back of the victim’s head and aggressively pushed her face toward the dashboard two to three times.

Additionally, while she was in the front passenger seat, the defendant used his right palm to strike her left side of the face. After being seen by the witness, he was followed for over three miles down Beach Blvd. in Anaheim.

From the opposing side, the defendant’s attorney claimed it was all a misunderstanding. It was argued that Pak was wrongly accused of abusing his girlfriend. He was apparently only rubbing her back and trying to calm her down.

After taking a dab of marijuana, or highly-concentrated level of THC, the victim was allegedly having a panic attack. Therefore, the defendant decided to comfort his partner but the witness claimed otherwise.

The defendant’s attorney emphasized how there was no hard evidence of the abuse ever taking place. There was no injury on the victim’s face and she also denied any conduct.

She stuck to the same story with three different officers, but the witness was certain she wasn’t telling the truth. He claimed to have seen the defendant grab and yell at her to not say anything.

The defendant’s partner did, however, admit to facing verbal aggression from Pak in the days leading up to the incident. They had apparently been fighting due to his jealousy of her talking to others at work.

In the witness’s testimony, he claimed to have no affiliation with both the defendant and his girlfriend prior to this encounter. As he was driving and leaving the Home Depot on Brookhurst Street, he instantly grew concerned when he saw a driver in another car beating his passenger.

After going after him and catching up to see the license plate number, they exchanged emotionally-charged yells of profanity. The witness announced that he was going to call the police and quickly dialed 911. In the audio recording of the call, the witness told the dispatcher, “This guy’s beating his girlfriend in his car!”

They pulled into the parking lot of a Holiday Inn, and Pak’s partner immediately stated, “He didn’t hit me, he didn’t hit me!”

Although the witness did not know the defendant or victim, he felt obligated to speak up on this case. He faced domestic violence at home growing up, so this similar situation particularly angered him. Some deemed him a Good Samaritan in this scenario for going after the defendant and being so quick to report the crime.

However, the judge, and jury if it goes to trial, is left to decide whether or not the crime had actually taken place. Was this a case of domestic violence that was fortunately reported by a witness, or simply all a misinterpretation gone out of hand?

Jaycee is a second-year student at Ohlone College, transferring to a UC in Fall 2021. She is majoring in Sociology and is originally from the Bay Area.

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