By Gina Martinez
After being cleared of manslaughter charges, 51-year-old Paul Kim returned to the internet cafe in Flushing where he fatally stabbed 19-year-old Yangpu Fan.
A Queens grand jury voted a no true bill, dismissing the charges against Kim May 10, the Queens district attorney’s office said. His lawyer said he acted in self-defense.
Kim was arrested and charged with manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon last month after a confrontation that led to the stabbing of Fan at K&D internet cafe, located at 38-19 Union St., police said. Later that day, police arrived at the New York Presbyterian Hospital in Flushing and discovered Fan with a stab wound to the torso. He was pronounced dead later that night.
Police said Fan was involved in an altercation with Kim, a homeless man who spent most of his time at the internet cafe. Kim was accused of stabbing Fan after he and a group of friends tried to get Kim to leave his seat, police said.
Claudia Romero, Kim’s lawyer, said video footage of the incident clearly shows Kim was attacked twice by a group of teens, including Fan.
When Paul was arrested and officers recovered a knife, Employees at K&D internet cafe were shocked that he would react violently. A manager at the spot described Kim as “polite” and “nice”
The manager said Kim would stay at the cafe for two weeks at a time for 24 hours a day but never caused problems.
As for reports that Kim returned to the scene of the stabbing, Romano said he had nowhere else to go.
“He was living there, that’s why he went back,” she said. “He did not stay there afterwards. He’s in a safe location, he’s currently at the hospital. He needs to be checked for a severe medical condition.”
Romero said people should not be too quick to judge.
“All I would say is that it’s imperative to remember in this country people are innocent until proven guilty,” she said. “It’s important to not rush to judgment until all facts are available. The other thing is obviously we empathize with the family, we understand that they lost a child and that’s extremely tragic. With that being said, their son was called to that location and appeared to attack Mr. Kim with no provocation.”
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart