By Jason Cruz
Northwest Asian Weekly
Seattle restaurant owner Scott Koh and three of his employees were arrested late last month on charges of kidnapping and beating a man identified as the lover of Koh’s estranged wife. King County Prosecutors described Koh as the “ringleader” of a calculated plot to harm Chris McMonagle. However, many within the Korean community are supporting Koh despite the allegations.
According to court documents, Koh and three employees of his Korean Restaurant, Shilla, beat and pistol whipped the 40-year-old man that is romantically linked to Koh’s wife. McMonagle was bound with zip ties and put into Koh’s Lexus. It was also revealed that he was repeatedly tasered by his kidnappers. King County Prosecutor Charles Sherer stated that McMonagle has fractured ribs, a collapsed lung and a possible broken eye socket in addition to bruises all over his body and “zip tie marks on his legs.” McMonagle was taken to Harborview Medical Center where he was in satisfactory condition and stayed for several days before being released. He was in court to see Koh’s bail hearing.
Judge Dean Lum set bail at a half million dollars despite pleas from Korean community leaders and Koh’s family friends. “I’ve known Scott since 30 years,” Craig Nakamura told a local news station, “I’ve never known him to be in anything of this sort.”
“We know he is a good person,” said Koh’s attorney at the hearing and pointed to a gallery of supporters. But prosecutors depicted another side of Koh. “A person can be intelligent, kind and generous to those he cares about but also controlling, manipulative, and violent to those who cross him,” prosecutors added, “[h]e saw his estranged wife slipping away from him into the arms of another man and he enlisted a team to savagely beat him, torture him, and try to eliminate him.”
“Those are extraordinarily serious allegations, extraordinarily serious,” remarked Judge Lum of the prosecutor’s claims as he denied lowering the bail for Koh. The other suspects arrested in the kidnapping and beating had their bail posted by Koh. The other three have pled not guilty to their allegations of kidnapping and assault.
The incident occurred on Sunday morning June 28th when Koh and his employees had gone over to see his wife at an apartment complex in Queen Anne while her boyfriend, McMonagale was there. She called police and when officers arrived and asked McMonagle to leave since he was not legally a tenant of the apartment, Koh and his employees followed him to the garage and attacked him. The alleged kidnapping and beating lasted two-and-a-half hours before Koh surrendered to police.
Located on Denny Way, Koh has run his family’s restaurant for 30 years. It remains open despite the current legal issues. (end)
Jason Cruz can be reached at email@example.com.