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Talk Radio Critic Ends Up Stabbed

Three men, one of them well-known in Vietnamese community, argue over politics. Two are arrested.

September 25, 2003|David Haldane | Times Staff Writer

In an indication of how seriously some people take their politics, three men arguing over veterans issues at a Garden Grove restaurant this week took their differences outside.

The result: one of them hospitalized after being stabbed with a nail file, another clubbed with a three-foot lug wrench and two arrested for assault.

"We don't have a problem with people disagreeing," Garden Grove police spokesman Lt. Mike Handfield said Wednesday, "but this went too far."

The altercation began Monday while Longprix Doan, a well-known Vietnamese radio personality, was having lunch with a friend in the 10000 block of Westminster Avenue. Doan, 58, is a frequent guest on late-night Vietnamese talk shows.

"Apparently he is controversial on issues involving Vietnamese soldiers and veterans," Handfield said. "Someone [in the restaurant] wasn't happy with what he'd been saying on the air and told him so."

The three ended up in the parking lot where, Handfield said, Doan stabbed his critic with a file while his friend -- Jim Nguyen, 57 -- held the man. Incensed by the attack, the critic -- a 58-year-old Westminster man whom police declined to identify -- went to his car, got a wrench, chased Doan around the parking lot and struck him with it, Handfield said.

The man -- who Handfield said was a South Vietnamese Army veteran -- was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where he spent the night after being treated for a two-inch stab wound. Nguyen, of Midway City, was arrested at the scene. Doan, of Westminster, was arrested when he showed up at the Garden Grove Medical Center seeking treatment for wounds apparently caused by the wrench.

Doan and Nguyen were booked for assault and released after posting $50,000 bonds.

Handfield said he was not aware of the issue over which the men fought. But Doan opposes an upcoming reunion of Vietnamese military veterans, which his critic had planned to attend.

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Times staff writer Mai Tran contributed to this report.

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