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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pakwai Woo, Local Fisherman, Off the Hook for Stabbing Man Who Pissed in His Bait Bucket

Posted By on Thu, May 3, 2012 at 4:09 PM

click to enlarge baiting trouble
  • baiting trouble

A San Francisco jury acquitted 65-year-old Pakawai Woo of assault charges after determining the San Francisco fisherman was merely acting in self-defense when he stabbed a man who had beat him and peed all over his fishing bait.

The Public Defender's Office tells us that the jury deliberated for no more then one hour before deciding that Woo, who is also a baker, was innocent of assault charges.

Woo was arrested on Aug. 14, 2011, after he stabbed 49-year-old Zhi Chen in the back of the knee while at Pier 30. The tension between the two fishermen started a month earlier, when Woo had sided with another man who had been arguing with Chen over who had caught a particular type of fish.

Then, on Aug. 14, Woo and Chen bumped into each other at the same fishing spot by the pier. That's when Chen, who had been drinking, walked up to Woo, unzipped his pants, and urinated in Woo's bucket of live bait.

When Woo told Chen to stop, Chen became belligerent, and insisted he would "urinate wherever he'd like." Chen, who by the way is much bigger than Woo, punched Woo and pushed him to the ground, witnesses testified.

Woo got up, pulled out a pocket knife, and waved it in the air. Chen pushed past people who were holding him back and punched Woo in the chest. That's when Woo stabbed Chen once in the leg, according to Scott Grant, deputy public defender.

Woo was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.

During the trial, Chen's fishing and drinking buddies defended Chen, but perhaps because they were drunk the day of the incident, they gave inconsistent testimonies on the stand. Chen's case completely crumbled when he admitted to having started the fight.

"Mr. Woo wanted to enjoy a day of fishing when he was attacked without provocation," Grant said.

And it seems the jury swallowed that defense ... hook, line, and sinker.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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