NEW YORK – A former columnist and self-described Asian supremacist who applauded the Virginia Tech slayings has been sentenced to a year of mental health treatment for waving a hammer at neighbor's face and threatening to kill her and her family.
Kenneth Eng, 24, of Bayside, N.Y., pleaded guilty in Queens County Court on Thursday to an indictment charging him with attempted assault and harassment over the incident last April in his neighbor's yard.
Last February, Eng was fired from the San Francisco-based weekly newspaper AsianWeek for writing a column titled "Why I Hate Blacks."
Three months later, in a Village Voice interview, Eng gloried in the slayings of 32 students and teachers at Virginia Tech and fancifully speculated that his own writings might have inspired the killer, Seung-Hui Cho.
Eng also told the New York weekly that his own plan for a similar killing spree at New York University was aborted only because he couldn't afford a weapon. He was arrested on the assault and harassment charge after that article appeared, a day before the NYU commencement.
After his sentencing on Thursday, federal authorities produced an arrest warrant and took Eng into custody. The nature of that case was not immediately known.
His attorney, Joel Dranove, of Manhattan, said he expected Eng to appear in Brooklyn federal court on Friday, but had no further comment.
Queens County Judge Dorothy Chin-Brandt ordered Eng on Thursday to attend a 12-month outpatient mental health program. If Eng fails to comply with the program's requirements and fails to take his medication, or if he violates his neighbors' orders of protection, he can be resentenced to up to 4 years in prison.
Eng was arrested May 9 for threatening the neighbor, Marissa Addison, 29, and her mother, Jane Rosovich, who were standing with their two dogs on their lawn in front of their Queens home.
Eng is accused of yelling at Addison, saying, "If your dog bites me, I will kill you and your family," and then swinging a hammer at her, missing her by inches.
Asked to comment on the plea, Dranove said Friday: "It is the correct result of all the hard work by the prosecutors, New York State Department of Mental Hygiene and the doctors."