Thursday, February 17, 2011

Temple Law Student Acquitted

The called it the "bar-hop shooting."

Ung and two friends crossed paths with DiDonato and three of his friends at 2:30 a.m. after both groups were looking for cabs after bar-hopping. Soon, a petty argument erupted between the two groups of strangers.
Ung testified that he shot DiDonato in self-defense after he was followed, threatened and, finally, lunged at by DiDonato and one of his three friends on Market Street, in front of the Fox 29 studios.

DiDonato and his friends testified that they hadn't provoked Ung, who they said started the trouble.
According to trial testimony, before Ung fired his .38-caliber pistol, he pointed it at DiDonato and ordered him back. DiDonato kept advancing and said: "Who you gonna shoot?"

Ung kicked. DiDonato grabbed his leg, causing Ung to lose his right boot and his balance. While falling, Ung began shooting. He called 9-1-1 seconds later.

Ung, of Fairfax County, Va., near Washington, had a permit from there that allowed him to legally carry his pistol in Pennsylvania.
We couldn't ask for a better example of why alcohol and guns don't mix.  Responsible gun owners leave their weapons at home when they go out drinking. That way, when the cave-man brawls take place out on the street, and they're about to catch a beating, they're not tempted to shoot their adversary six times.

I find it hard to believe this guy was acquitted.  What do you think?

Please leave a comment.


  1. "I find it hard to believe this guy was acquitted. What do you think?"

    I don't have trouble believing it. Did you look at any of the evidence? The jury sure did. He tried multiple times to retreat and leave but the others pursued. He didn't shoot until they had him on the ground.

  2. One armed victim against multiple attackers? Disparity of force and the rest of the circumstances leave no doubt in my mind it was justified.

    As far as "alcohol and guns don't mix," there's nothing in that article (or any other article) that says the victim (Gerald Ung) was drinking. there seems to be no lack of proper judgement, He was trying to retreat from the situation and couldn't, drew his firearm in self defense and one of the attackers lunged for him.

    The lack of judgement seems to be on the attacker...


  3. "That way, when the cave-man brawls take place out on the street, and they're about to catch a beating, they're not tempted to shoot their adversary six times. "

    Right, it's so much better to be beaten to death than defend yourself.

    "Responsible gun owners leave their weapons at home when they go out drinking. "

    Responsible drinkers always bring a designated driver/gunner. That's me! I don't drink and I carry a gun and I can drive. That means my friends can drink and I'll take care of the streets and the street criminals.

  4. Did you look at any of the evidence?

    Consider who you're asking. The man lacks the mental capacity to do so.

  5. Good to see some Commonsense coming from the colonies. New Jersey has been dominating the regional news with it's stupidity.

  6. Does this mean that Ung gets his life back? Can things go back to normal for him and for the Ung family?

    Not necessarily. For starters, Eddie DiDonato Jr., a former lacrosse star at Villanova and the son of a well-connected partner at the Fox Rothschild law firm, might file a civil suit against Ung. As noted by the Philadelphia Daily News, the 24-year-old DiDonato “underwent numerous operations to repair damage to a hand and multiple internal organs.”

    Indeed, the acquittal doesn't stop DiDonato from bringing a civil suit against Ung for tort claims like assault and battery. See Commonwealth v. Reynolds, 876 A.2d 1088, 1093 (Pa. Cwlth 2005) (acquittal has no preclusive effect on subsequent civil litigation). In addition to all of the trial testimony, he might also be able to use information learned by the District Attorney's office — which obviously favored his version of events, hence prosecuting the case — in the civil case, thereby sparing himself a lot of trouble and expense in discovery.

    One big legal question is if DiDonato would be able to exclude as evidence from the civil trial the fact that Ung was acquitted in the criminal trial. As a theoretical matter, the finding by the criminal jury is irrelevant to the subsequent civil jury; the criminal jury was asked to decide different issues, and applied a different and higher burden of proof. As a practical matter, though, it will be awfully tricky for DiDonato to find a pool of Philadelphia jurors with no knowledge of the criminal case. Even if they do, the lawyers will run into serious trouble trying to cross examine witnesses with their prior statements — i.e., the statements they gave the police and their testimony at the criminal trial — without inevitably revealing the statements were made in criminal proceedings.

    In addition, the services of Jack McMahon don’t come cheap. The Ungs easily owe McMahon six figures.

    Another issue--compare this shooting to that of Nicole DuFresne.

    This story ain't over yet.

  7. And if you are going to be savages, then you need to revive the tradition of wergild.

    It's obvious that US culture is fast becoming a throwback to the dark ages.

  8. Orygunner, I know it didn't say anything about Ung drinking, but it did say "bar-hopping." Do you know many people who do that without drinking?

    So, presuming he'd been drinking and knowing he got in a pushing match with a guy on the street, I don't think he was completely innocent.

    At that point he's already in the wrong, loaded gun, mouthing off and fighting on the street (do you want to debate the mouthing off part too?), but when the other guys begins to get the better of him, he pulls out the gun and shoots him SIX TIMES.

    Is there nothing you guys wouldn't attempt to white-wash and justify when it comes to guns?

  9. @Mikeb, When I go out with friends to a bar (pretty damn rare for me though), I'm carrying my firearm, and I don't drink.

    Nice attempt to downplay the actions of the attacker(s). Sure, Ung was mouthing off, they ALL were, weren't they? When he attempted to withdraw from the situation, he was pursued. When he drew a firearm to ward off the attack, the attacker KEPT COMING at an armed man! Watch the video.

    It's nobody's fault that Eddie DiDonato Jr. got shot except his own. And that's pretty much what a jury ruled in this case.