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Sentence change for Richmond man who smashed cars, caused high-speed chase

Police caught Tong Sun with a spike belt after a Stanley Park high-speed chase
Tong Sun now has a conditional discharge with three years’ probation.

A Richmond man who smashed car lot vehicles with a hammer, led police on a high-speed chase through Stanley Park and tried to run over a grocery store employee has had his sentence changed.

Rather than a suspended sentence with three years’ probation, Tong Sun now has a conditional discharge with three years’ probation.

In June 2022, Richmond Provincial Court Judge Diana Vandor said Sun, aka Heintz Sun, had struck cars at dealerships in three separate incidents in 2020.

He caused $40,000 in damages, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Catherine Murray said in allowing Sun’s appeal in a May 3 decision.

“He attended car lots to smash cars not just once but a number of times. He used his car as a weapon not just once but twice. He caused two police pursuits,” Murray said. “It is a miracle that no one was injured.”

In the last dealership incident, Sun was involved in a dangerous driving offence involving protracted police chases through residential areas, speeding through red lights and against the flow of traffic.

“Police caught up with Mr. Sun in downtown Vancouver and followed him into Stanley Park. At that time, the park was closed to vehicles because of the pandemic. It remained open to bikes and pedestrians. Mr. Sun drove at high speed through the park, going against the flow of traffic. Police were eventually able to stop his vehicle using a spike belt,” Murray said.

He was convicted of mischief over $5,000, dangerous driving and assault with a weapon — a car — in a case where he reversed at a Richmond store employee who tried to stop him after Sun had shoplifted $68’s worth of tea.

At the time of the offences, Sun was attending law school in the United Kingdom. He told Vandor a criminal conviction could ruin his career.

He was sentenced to a suspended sentence with three years' probation.

On appeal, Sun said if he could not have an absolute discharge, the probation period should be five months.

Both Vandor and Murray noted Sun’s mental health challenges, the latter noting Vandor did not have the benefit of a recent psychiatric report.

A psychiatrist told Murray that Sun likely had schizoaffective disorder at the time of the offences and that without that, he probably would not have committed the offences.

Sun reported he was hearing voices.

“The voices told him that they were from the Canadian military but spoke mostly in Chinese,” Murray said.

Given Sun’s mental health history, Murray said the probation order would allow Sun to get needed help.

She said his medication regimen needs to be altered to avoid the risk he potentially poses to the community should he go untreated and unsupervised until he is stable.

Mercedes awarded money for lease

In March of 2022, a B.C. Supreme Court judge awarded Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Canada Corp. more than $20,000 in a countersuit against Sun and his father, Jinzhong Sun.

The father and son unsuccessfully sued for breach of lease, defamation and loss of a gold watch and pen after their Mercedes Metris passenger van was confiscated and their lease cancelled in 2020.

Vancouver Police seized the van from Tong Sun after one of his crime sprees. It was originally leased for the father and son’s short-term rentals and furniture-importing business.

The Suns did not pay the more than $21,000 owing on the lease, so Mercedes sold the vehicle to an auction house.

- with files from Bob Mackin

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