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Posted: 2/8/2006 6:07:03 AM EDT
2 women's claims fall by wayside
- Susan Sward, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 8, 2006

In one three-week period in early 2002, Officer Louis Wong had two angry encounters with female drivers.

Each woman went to the Office of Citizen Complaints, telling the agency that Wong called her "bitch'' and berated her when she had done little or nothing to provoke him.

As the agency always does, it investigated each case against the 29-year-old officer separately -- treating them as unrelated.

Each case was sustained and sent to the Police Department for disciplinary action, but one arrived 5 1/2 months after the other. There is no indication that the incidents and the pattern they revealed were ever considered together.

In the end, Wong escaped all discipline because the department took no action within the one-year period required by a state law that governs the treatment of complaints made against police officers.

The first incident occurred about 3 a.m. on Jan. 20, 2002.

Janelle Sinclair and two male friends had left the Glass Kat club and were sitting in a car in a parking lot South of Market, getting ready to head home. Sinclair said in an interview that she was behind the wheel of the car, which wasn't hers, because she'd had only two drinks and her friends had consumed more.

Before she'd turned the key in the ignition, she said, a light shone into their vehicle from a car that pulled up alongside."My friends got freaked out and paranoid, and I said, 'Relax,' " recalled Sinclair, then a 24-year-old buyer at a Haight Street clothing store. She swore at her friends and told them to shut up.

Suddenly an officer -- Sinclair said she later learned it was Wong -- was standing next to her car window telling her that "he could read my lips," she said. She told him she had been swearing at her friends, not at him.

"He said, 'Bitches like you don't know when to shut up.' He said he could arrest me for drunk driving -- when I hadn't even started the car. ... He never really explained why he came up to my car. He never said what he thought I had said,'' recalled Sinclair, who said she eventually told the officer to give her a sobriety test or just take her to jail.

She quoted him as saying, "I don't know why you are taunting me to take you in. Do you know how long bitches like you would last in jail?' " He told her to get out of the car and then demonstrated what a sobriety test would be like.

Then he stopped and looked at her, she said, so she began copying his steps.

"Then he yelled, 'Bitch, did I tell you to start yet? Maybe if you were sober, you'd know you don't start until I tell you to start!' " Sinclair said.

By this time, she was crying and her body was shaking, Sinclair said, and she was very scared. She quoted Wong as telling her: "You're shaking. You're hysterically drunk."

Then he left her to speak with her two friends, and she called her mother on her cell phone to tell her to stay awake until she called her back. "He said, 'Get off the phone, bitch,' so I had to hang up on my mom."

She said Wong then ordered the friend who owned the car to drive. Sinclair protested that the officer was forcing her to ride home with someone who was drunk. "He said, 'Get in the car now, or I'll arrest you for being drunk in public.' "

After Wong left, Sinclair said, she got out of the car, called her mother, and got a friend to come pick her up.

During the encounter, Sinclair said, she stared at Wong's badge and he asked her, "Why are you staring at my badge number, bitch? What are you going to do about it?"

Sinclair said she told him: "Maybe nothing, but I am going to remember your badge number."

Eighteen days after Sinclair's run-in with Wong, Erin Bouchier was driving a friend home to his apartment South of Market, and their route took them through the Tenderloin.

Bouchier, who was a 24-year-old financial manager for the Gap, said she was driving her Infiniti sedan on Eddy Street when a silver vehicle abruptly pulled away from the curb and into her path, forcing her to brake sharply.

In a telephone interview with The Chronicle, Bouchier -- who is now studying for a master's degree in business at Harvard -- said she honked her horn, only to watch the driver of the sedan "cut in front of me and right away do a U-turn. We were then stopped five or 10 feet from each other. It was very scary.''

The driver "gave me a really hard look and then did another U-turn around me this time," she said. "Once he was clear of me, I continued down the street and we went another block and a half with the car behind us. Suddenly he put on a police siren and pulled us over."

Emerging from his vehicle, the man dressed in "normal young person's clothes" demanded, "What are you doing? You almost hit me. You must have been speeding. Give me your license!" Bouchier said.

She said she told him, "Excuse me, sir. You just pulled in front of me. I wasn't speeding."

The man -- she later learned it was Wong -- continued to scold her for about a half hour until she was shaking, she said.

Bouchier recalled: "At some point he said, 'You little bitch, you ruined my drug bust. I was trying to get these guys who were in this parking lot dealing drugs.' I said, 'Sir, I didn't see any guys across the street.' I was trying to reason with him."

Finally, she said, she asked to see his badge and he retorted, "You want to see my badge? Do you want my badge number? What are you going to do?''

Eventually he let her go, she said, but he warned her, "You'd better watch your back. A girl like you shouldn't be in this neighborhood."

Bouchier said of Wong: "He was angry, aggressive, not rational. I'd had great interactions with police in the past, some really nice people, and to meet someone like this, it was scary to have an experience like that."

Though she never got his badge number, she said she called the department, described him, stated when the incident occurred, and got his identity.

She went to the Office of Citizen Complaints, she said, because, "I felt I didn't want this to happen to anyone else."

On July 15, 2002, the agency upheld her complaint against Wong, sustaining charges of taking an unauthorized action, neglecting his duty, and engaging in conduct that reflected discredit on the department.

More than five months later, on Dec. 31, 2002, the agency sustained two allegations of misconduct against Wong in Sinclair's case, one for making a sexual slur and another for neglecting his duty.

The department failed to take any action on either complaint until six months later, when it dropped both cases because the one-year statute of limitations for taking disciplinary action had expired.

Wong would not comment for this story.

sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/02/08/MNUFWONG.DTL&type=printable
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 6:12:08 AM EDT
Is it "bash the police" month up there in SF?
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 6:13:15 AM EDT
serves the bitches right for being in that neighborhood
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 6:13:47 AM EDT
What an ass.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 6:18:09 AM EDT

Link Posted: 2/8/2006 6:21:33 AM EDT
Women are always wrong. I'm sure they deserved it.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 5:16:58 PM EDT
No dog?
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 5:21:41 PM EDT
put a camera on every cop, period.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 5:35:48 PM EDT
That guy sounds like a real numbskull.

But the girl is stupid for driving through the Tenderloin.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 5:59:50 PM EDT
I don't know anyting about the women or their repute, but from their side of the story, the guys a dick and should be unceremonously kicked off the force. It's dickheads like him that give the rest of us a bad name.


-K
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 6:10:57 PM EDT
What a bitch, Maybe his panties were a too tight??
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 6:56:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/8/2006 6:57:41 PM EDT by Busch308]
And what would have happened if one or both of her male friends had gotten out of the car and bounced his freakin skull off of the pavement? That's right, they would have went to jail. In Texas, we have a law on the books that says you can resist an unlawful arrest or mistreatment during arrest with any force necessary. It'll never happen though. If your keys are not in the ignition then you are not DUI.

What ever happened to a time when the people in a community would stomp a little shit's guts out for this?
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 9:27:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Busch308:
And what would have happened if one or both of her male friends had gotten out of the car and bounced his freakin skull off of the pavement? That's right, they would have went to jail. In Texas, we have a law on the books that says you can resist an unlawful arrest or mistreatment during arrest with any force necessary. It'll never happen though. If your keys are not in the ignition then you are not DUI.

What ever happened to a time when the people in a community would stomp a little shit's guts out for this?



AAAAAANNNNND another "Internet Legal Expert" slithers out from under the bridge.

BTW: The officer is a jackass, and I only read to paragraph 4.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 9:34:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/8/2006 9:37:19 PM EDT by Busch308]
And his name reads "In Austin". "Nuff said! If you doubt the law then go do some research. I learned about this law during my CHL course. My instructor countered with a "If you ever do this expect to be dead" comment.
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