‘Terrorizing’ Burchell Road driver off streets and in jail

Woong Joon Chon

A psychologically unstable man who terrorized female joggers and
maliciously harassed drivers in his Gilroy neighborhood for months
on end was sentenced to one year in county jail Jan. 4 at the South
County Courthouse in Morgan Hill, according to Stephen Lowney,
supervising deputy district attorney.
A psychologically unstable man who terrorized female joggers and maliciously harassed drivers in his Gilroy neighborhood for months on end was sentenced to one year in county jail Jan. 4 at the South County Courthouse in Morgan Hill, according to Stephen Lowney, supervising deputy district attorney.

Lowney said Wednesday that the 45-year-old Woong Joon Chon was required to move out of his home on the 10000 block of Burchell Road permanently, and has.

Chon also had his driver’s license revoked for life.

Lowney said the mentally unstable convict is on intensive formal probation, and will be monitored on the mental health court calendar in San Jose. He’ll also be required to take psychological counseling and remain on prescribed medication.

Lowney explained the mental health court calendar is a special court where the judge and mental health professionals put together a plan, usually consisting of counseling, medical treatment and monitoring for the length of the convict’s probation period, which in Chon’s case is three years.

“Basically he became fixated; almost every single time it would be a woman either walking their dog or running, and he would literally point his car towards them,” recalled Lowney. “One time, a jogger had to dive into a bush to avoid getting hit.”

Eventually, Lowney said, neighbors realized this was a recurring incident and that something weird and dangerous was going on in their neighborhood.

Most neighbors didn’t know Chon by name, but knew his face and the white truck he used to intimidate drivers and unsuspecting passers-by, residents said.

“It’s been over a year that he’s been harassing me,” Chris Pauley, a Burchell Road resident who spoke to the Dispatch in April 2010. “At first, I thought it was an isolated episode of road rage but then I found out that he had terrorized many people.”

Pauley told the Dispatch one time she was driving home on Burchell pulling her horse trailer, when Chon drove his truck at her and pulled a U-turn directly in front of her.

“I had to slam on my brakes,” she remembered. “I honked and threw my hands in the air. That’s when all the harassing started.”

With Chon’s sentencing putting a permanent end to the madness, Lowney said residents should be proud of themselves for the way everything was handled.

“If they weren’t so diligent about documenting what happened, staying on top of it and then making sure police were informed, it would have been very difficult to prosecute the case,” he said.

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