Michigan State University is, of course, legendary for its post-athletic contest couch burnings. However, another, more serious menace may also be afoot: the menace of a hardboiled Chinese gang terrorizing local Asian students.
The charge comes from local prosecutors in a case involving a Chinese student at Michigan State who was brutally beaten at a karaoke bar located either in or right beside a store called “Oriental Mart” in a strip mall just off campus.
The alleged perpetrators of the attack are Meng Long Li and Shan Gao, the Lansing State Journal reports.
The attack occurred on Jan. 31, 2014, the night of the Chinese New Year.
The student victim, who spoke through an interpreter, said that Li and another man had also attacked him in the fall of 2014 at another local karaoke bar.
It’s not clear what, if anything the student did to incur Li’s wrath.
In any case, the victim has testified, Li recognized him at the second karaoke bar on Jan. 31.
“Do you recall last time?” Li allegedly asked.
The student fled to a private karaoke room. Li and others chased him. Eventually, Li allegedly pummeled the student over and over with a plastic water pitcher (which broke amid the beating). The student required 11 stitches in his head.
Li, 24, is a Michigan State graduate with bachelor’s degrees in actuarial science and computer science.
Gao, 21, is currently a student at MSU.
The victim in the attack, also a student at the Big 10 school, remains unidentified.
The numerous charges against Li and Gao, both Chinese citizens, include assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder.
“They use fear, intimidation and physical violence to gain notoriety among the Asian community on Michigan State’s campus,” Ingham County assistant prosecutor Kimberly Hesse said during an opening statement in the trial.
The name of the gang is “Chengguan,” Hesse said, which is the name for local police forces across China.
Li is “an enforcer” in the Chengguan gang, Hesse declared. Gao is “a lower-level middleman.”
Li’s attorney, Chris Bergstrom, said in his own opening statement that “there are no gangs” terrorizing local karaoke bars.
A gang doesn’t exist simply because people “call themselves something,” Bergstrom said.
Bergstrom further indicated that he will argue that his client has been wrongly identified.
A quick Google search by The Daily Caller of the words Chengguan and gang brings up some 40,500 results. A cursory inspection of those results does not indicate much in the way of known gang activity.
Michigan State and the surrounding community are currently home to some 4,400 Chinese students, notes the State Journal.