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Friday, June 9, 2000

St. Louis all-state
player indicted as
adult in assault
last summer

The school's acting chief
didn't know a criminal
charge was pending

By Rod Ohira


An all-state high school basketball player from St. Louis School has been charged as an adult for an alleged unprovoked assault on another youth last summer.

Eighteen-year-old Leslie Wong Jr., also known as Junior Wong, was indicted yesterday for second- degree assault. Bail was set at $1,000.

Wong, a defensive back in football, allegedly "false cracked" a boy, who was then 16 years old, during a confrontation at the home of the victim's girlfriend, police said.

The punch broke the victim's jaw.

Wong and the victim were not acquainted.

Wong left the scene but later was identified from a yearbook photo by the victim and witnesses. He was arrested in October in connection with the Aug. 6, 1999, incident in Waikele, but released pending investigation.

Brother Edward Gomez, named acting president of St. Louis School on Jan. 27, said yesterday that he did not know that criminal charges stemming from the incident were pending against Wong.

Policy at the time came from the Rev. Mario Pariante, who was fired as the school's president in November, says Gomez.

"We probably would have looked at it differently," said the 62-year-old Gomez, who has spent 39 years of his life on the St. Louis campus as a student, teacher and administrator.

"Since January, we've been stressing to our students that any kind of behavior inside or outside of school which endangers the St. Louis reputation is unacceptable." Gomez added that the student handbook for the school year will include "more exacting" rules of behavior. "The emphasis is to reinstitute a basis of self-pride that manifests itself in doing the right things for the right reasons," he said.

"We want our students to discipline themselves to do the right thing, not because someone is watching them, but because it's the right thing to do."

Gomez said policy changes had to be made "in light of what has happened the past two summers," referring to past misconduct incidents involving the football team.

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