Cars, Crime, Guns / Firearms, Law Schools, Temple University, James E. Beasley Law, Violence

An Update on Gerald Ung
Plus another Temple Law tragedy.

Today brings an update in the case of Gerald Ung. The Temple Law fourth-year got in trouble earlier this year for being the wrong kind of gunner.

While other Temple students have recently appeared in these pages, sporting legal tees and trying to get undergrads out of their tees, it’s been a while since we’ve heard news of Ung. Our last post on his alleged shooting appeared in February. But now the case is moving forward. From the Philadelphia Daily News:

Gerald Ung, the Temple University law school student arrested in January for shooting another man five times in front of the Old City Fox TV studio, this morning was ordered to stand trial on attempted murder and aggravated assault charges.

Philadelphia Municipal Judge David Shuter dismissed two gun charges because Ung had a legal permit to carry a gun from his native state of Virginia.

The article contains some additional (and apparently new) details about the underlying incident….

Still from the Daily News:

On Jan. 17, [Ung] got into an altercation with four young men at about 2:30 a.m. at 4th and Market streets. Seth Webster, one of the four, testified that Ung pulled out a gun after his friend Tom Kelly started moving toward him. “Get the F— back,” Ung shouted, Webster said.

Another friend, Edward “Eddie” DiDonato Jr., 23, then said to Ung, “Who you gonna shoot?” Webster said.

Ung kicked at DiDonato to keep him at bay, DiDonato grabbed at Ung’s leg. As he fell backward, Ung began firing. He hit DiDonato five times in the upper body.

The prosecutor, assistant district attorney Jan McDermott, stated that DiDonato — the son of Fox Rothschild bankruptcy partner Edward DiDonato, by the way — now suffers from paralysis of the bowels, bladder, sexual organs, and left foot.

Ung’s attorney took a very different view: “My client was the victim of bullies. Four guys are drunk and they think they can bully anybody they want, say whatever they want and do whatever they want.”

An ATL reader is full of questions:

How about a comment thread on this, following up your earlier coverage? I know jack about crim law. Does this mean the DA is still trying to negotiate a plea? Can all those crimes be tried together or do they merge? Will DiDonato ever be charged with simple assault or anything? Will Ung ever graduate? Did Temple toss him out or suspend him?

Our responses: sure, here’s the thread; quite possibly (pleas can happen any time, even in the middle of a trial); yes they can be tried together (same underlying set of facts); probably not (prosecutorial discretion); don’t know; don’t know (but if you do, email us).

Meanwhile, today brings more sad news out of Temple Law. From Am Law Daily:

The latest tragedy occurred this past weekend when Temple senior Nicholas Hasselback struck third-year law student Tony Foltz with his car at 2:30 a.m. on Sunday. The Philadelphia Daily News reports that the front windshield of Hasselback’s white Subaru was shattered and that Foltz was in critical condition.

Foltz, 25, was scheduled to graduate from Temple Law in May. He’s the son of Pepper Hamilton partner Richard Foltz, Jr., a member of the firm’s construction practice group. The elder Foltz expressed a mixture of sadness and relief when Hasselback turned himself in to authorities on Wednesday.

“We feel like our family is shattered, but we know another family has been shattered as well,” he told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “We’re going to try to pray for that family as well. This could be a bad kid, this could be a good kid who made a bad decision and panicked. It’s not for us to judge.”

Richard Foltz sounds like a saint. We doubt that most parents would offer such a balanced assessment of someone who hit their child with a car and then drove away.

Philadelphia is a mean town. There’s a reason it went down early in ATL March Madness.

We’ll keep you posted on these stories, but we hope not to bring you any new reports of violence from Temple Law.

Law student held for trial in shooting outside Fox studio [Philadelphia Daily News]
Alleged driver of car that hit Temple student surrenders to police [Philadelphia Daily News]
Cops home in on driver that hit student [Philadelphia Daily News]
Bail Raised For Suspect In Center City Hit-Run [CBS News]
Tragedy Again at Temple Law [Am Law Daily]

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