A field deputy for Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl who serves as a contact for the communities of Mar Vista and West Los Angeles has been charged with vandalism and assault after he tried to enter the wrong condominium unit in West Hollywood last month, Rosendahl said in a statement.
Len Nguyen was arrested by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies in West Hollywood April 13th, following an incident in which he was “extremely intoxicated, confused and disoriented” and tried to force his way into a condominium unit that was not his, according to the statement.
The tenant suspected Nguyen of being an intruder and assaulted him, said Andrew Stein, Nguyen’s attorney. Nguyen suffered fractures to the right eye and was treated at the County USC Medical Center, Stein said.
He spent five days in jail following the incident and was released on his own recognizance April 17th, the statement said.
Nguyen pleaded not guilty to the charges and is scheduled to return to court for a hearing Wednesday, May 28th. Stein said he is pushing to have the vandalism charge reduced to a misdemeanor and the assault charge dropped.
Nguyen had mistaken the first-floor unit for his own unit on the second floor, the attorney said, noting that the units have the same last two digits.
“It was not a burglary, it was a mistaken location,” Stein said of the incident.
Rosendahl said the deputy has an admitted problem with alcohol and has “agreed to seek treatment for the disease of alcoholism.”
“He’s taking steps to deal with the drinking problem,” Stein said.
After learning of the incident, Rosendahl said he suspended Nguyen and placed him on unpaid leave while the incident was reviewed. The councilman reinstated the deputy on a probationary status April 21st.
Stein noted that Nguyen is considered an “outstanding employee” and is well respected in the communities in which he serves.
As a field deputy, Nguyen represents Rosendahl at various community events and meetings and serves as a liaison for constituents to City Hall.
Nguyen founded the Palms Neighborhood Council in August 2002 and served as council president from 2002 to 2005. He is also a member of the Los Angeles Police Department Pacific Community Police Advisory Board.