The owner of a Montgomery County service station was killed late Monday night after clinging for a half-mile to the side of a speeding car driven by an 18-year-old customer who police say left without paying for $20.03 worth of gas.
Bo Yun Chung, 55, a Korean who had been in the United States for two years, was pronounced dead at Suburban Hospital at 2:30 a.m. yesterday of multiple internal injuries, Montgomery County Police said.
Police arrested Barbara Ann Orejuela and charged her with second degree murder, theft and traffic violations. Orejuela, who gave police a Beeville, Tex., address, is being held in the Montgomery County Detention Center in lieu of $100,000 bond for the murder charge and $2,500 on traffic charges. Orejuela will be assigned a court-appointed attorney.
Sgt. Harry Geehreng, a customer of the station, called Chung "a hard-working man." He said, "He obviously cared so much about his business that he was willing to risk life and limb to get the money that was owed to him."
Chung and his wife, Kuum Chung, 40, of 13117 Twinbrook Pkwy. in Rockville had worked together at the station for about a year, according to police. Chung's niece Anne Sasscer says Chung worked from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. He spoke little English and was not a naturalized U.S. citizen, according to Sasscer.
Chung came to this country "for a better life and to give their children a chance to have a better education," said Sasscer. Chung had a teen-age son and daughter. "The boy helped on weekends sometimes," Sasscer said.
As Chung and his wife were closing the Scot station in the 18500 block of Frederick Road in Derwood, Md., shortly before midnight, Orejuela pulled up to a self-serve pump and filled her tank with $20.03 worth of gas, police said.
Police said Orejuela told them she got back in the car and started to leave without paying. Chung ran after her and grabbed onto the driver's side of the car, according to police.
He was fatally injured as he clung to the car door and was dragged at 68 miles per hour south on Rte. 355 for about half a mile, according to police, who clocked the car with radar and followed it, unable to see Chung clinging to it.
With police in pursuit, Orejuela turned left on Gude Drive and crashed into a fire hydrant. Meanwhile, Chung's wife had called police, and other patrol cars were dispatched. Orejuela was arrested where the car was stopped.
Chung's immediate family declined to discuss the matter with reporters.
Yesterday, the station was open and Chung's son was working behind the desk in the glassed-in office. "The son was sitting in the cashier's booth crying," said Geehreng.