LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A man who pleaded no-contest to threatening to bomb the Wilshire Boulevard Temple and a nearby parked police car was sentenced Monday to 32 months in prison.
After negotiating a plea with prosecutors, Wan Ryung Song, 46, also admitted to violating his probation, which stemmed from a previous conviction for making criminal threats. The newer offense doubled his sentence from 16 to 32 months.
Song also admitted to an allegation of a hate crime.
Song had to be removed from a courtroom in December after he loudly made inappropriate comments about Jewish people and the United States.
The bomb threat that took place on December 18 of last year resulted in lengthy closures of streets around the Wilshire Boulevard Temple as a bomb squad searched for explosives, which turned out to be non-existent. After officers found nothing after a 2 a.m. search, patrol units left the scene, only to be called back to the temple, located at 3663 Wilshire Blvd. at 8 a.m., when a man called twice and “indicated that a police vehicle was targeted with an explosive device,” according to Sgt. Rudy Lopez of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Police housted the patrol car, using a “Bat Cat” fork lift, and checked its undercarriage for explosives. Bomb squad personnel also ended up blowing out the rear window, and opened the trunk, but no explosives were ever found.
However, officers did find anti-Semitic graffiti on a wood construction wall on temple property.
Officer Luis Garcia suggested that the police car had been parked in the neighborhood for a couple of days in order to deter crime in the area.
Around 20 to 40 people had been evacuated from the area while the bomb threats were investigated, and traffic had been kept out of a two-square block perimeter around the temple, according to Sgt. Lopez.
According to the LAPD, Song emigrated to the United States from South Korea at the age of six. The department believes he made the bomb threat calls from a pay phone two blocks away.
Song has been convicted for three prior felonies in the past, including criminal threats last year.
The Wilshire Boulevard Temple is one of Southern California’s best-known Reform Judaism congregations.
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