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Detective Pleads No Contest in Beating of Man

August 04, 1993|JULIO MORAN

A Los Angeles police detective pleaded no contest Tuesday to reduced charges of misdemeanor battery for beating up a male friend of his wife.

San Fernando Municipal Judge Juelann K. Cathey sentenced Detective John H. Byun, 39, of Granada Hills to 150 hours of community service and two years of probation and ordered him to undergo six months of domestic violence counseling. He was also fined $1,000.

Byun, a police officer since 1980, originally was charged with felony assault with great bodily injury. He faced a maximum sentence of four years in prison. A felony conviction also would have resulted in him being fired.

Byun agreed to plead no contest, which is equivalent to a guilty plea in criminal proceedings, in exchange for reducing the charge to two counts of misdemeanor battery.

Byun was arrested after police responded to a fight in the parking lot of the Odyssey restaurant in Granada Hills on Jan. 24.

According to court records, Byun and his wife, Grace, were having drinks with another man, Choon Rhey. Byun left his wife and Rhey, who stayed until 11:30 p.m., closing time. Rhey and Byun's wife were sitting in a car parked in the lot when Byun returned.

Byun then pulled Rhey out of the car and hit him and kicked him, according to court records. Rhey suffered injuries to his head and a sprained left wrist, authorities said.

Rhey told police that Byun pushed his wife down an embankment, but she told police that she fell.

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