SF parking officer claims off-duty sheriff’s deputy pulled gun on him and children 

click to enlarge A heated exchange between a parking control officer and a sheriff’s deputy that allegedly involved a gun took place in a Gilbert Street alley. - MIKE KOOZMIN/THE S.F. EXAMINER
  • Mike Koozmin/The S.F. Examiner
  • A heated exchange between a parking control officer and a sheriff’s deputy that allegedly involved a gun took place in a Gilbert Street alley.

A San Francisco sheriff's deputy is being investigated in the wake of allegations made by a parking enforcement officer who says the man pulled a gun on him and his two children during an argument over a minor fender bender across the street from the Hall of Justice.

Scott Ong, a seven-year parking enforcement officer, was parking his Acura in an alley across the street from the Hall of Justice in late December when a white Volkswagen tapped his front bumper. When the Volkswagen's driver got out of the car after parking and said nothing, Ong told the man in plainclothes that he'd tapped his Acura.

"Dude, I saw it, you tapped my car," Ong recalled telling the man. The man replied that he hadn't done anything. A back-and-forth between the pair followed, as Ong's two children waited in his parked car. The incident then escalated, Ong said.

"I'll shoot you. I'll shoot you and your kids," the man told him, according to Ong.

Ong replied: "What the fuck did you say to me?"

The man, according to Ong, then took a bag out of his truck, closed the trunk and set the bag down on the back of the car. And then he pulled out a pistol and placed it atop the bag, Ong said.

"What do you want to do now?" Ong claims the man said.

"You threatened a cop," the man allegedly said to Ong, whose reply was: "You're a cop and you point a gun at me and my kid?"

The Dec. 28 incident ended when Ong yelled out "police brutality" and the man quickly walked away. Ong and his kids — an 8-year-old and an infant — were shaken by the incident. He subsequently took a month off from work.

The story as told by Ong, who is employed by the Department of Parking and Traffic, cannot be independently verified, but the Sheriff's Department said an administrative investigation into the incident is underway. The name of the law enforcement officer, who is believed to be a sheriff's deputy, hasn't been released.

The incident occurred feet away from the offices of the San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs' Association, which did not return calls for comment.

Police have since conducted an investigation and passed the case along to the District Attorney's Office, which now must decide whether any criminal charges will be filed.

Ong's lawyer Eric Safire didn't reach out to The San Francisco Examiner to publicize the story, but said his client and he are nonetheless frustrated with how slowly the case is progressing. Safire says there were several witnesses to the incident, but he wouldn't say who they are.

"[The deputy] just obviously lost it and [Ong's] kids were in danger ... one of them was an infant," Safire said. "If I did that, I'd be in jail — rightfully so."

Ong said he filed a police report immediately after the incident. After hearing nothing for more than a month, Ong hired Safire, who contacted several law enforcement agencies to find out the progress of the investigation.

Those agencies assured Safire that at least until the investigation was complete, the deputy in question wouldn't cross paths with Ong since the man does not work at the Hall of Justice, where Ong reports to work. But a week after Ong went back to work, he ran into the man at the Hall of Justice as he had feared.

"Our frustration is that there's no response. There's been no reaction," Safire said.

About The Author

Jonah Owen Lamb

Jonah Owen Lamb

Bio:
Born and raised on a houseboat in Sausalito, Lamb has written for newspapers in New York City, Utah and the San Joaquin Valley. He was most recently an editor at the San Luis Obispo Tribune for nearly three years. He has written for The S.F. Examiner since 2013 and covers criminal justice and planning.
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