Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Busy day today, but...

This isn't the most lovely news story from the New York Times:
Fired Professor Shot 2 Men Outside Chappaqua Deli, Police Say 
By Jonah Engel Bromwich  
A former faculty member at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine who had been fired shot the school’s dean outside a popular deli in Chappaqua, N.Y., on Monday, apparently in an act of revenge, the authorities said. 
The former employee, Hengjun Chao, 49, of Tuckahoe, N.Y., was charged with attempted second-degree murder after he allegedly fired a shotgun and hit two men around 7 a.m. outside the deli, Lange’s Little Store, about a mile from the home of Bill and Hillary Clinton in the New York City suburb. 
Both men were taken to Westchester Medical Center and treated for injuries that were not life-threatening, the police said. 
Mount Sinai officials confirmed that the dean, Dr. Dennis S. Charney, 65, of Chappaqua, was one of the victims. The name of the other victim was not released. 
“This is an extremely disturbing event,” Dr. Kenneth L. Davis, the chief executive of the Mount Sinai Health System, said in a statement. “Fortunately, Dr. Charney’s injuries are not life-threatening, and we expect he will fully recover.”...
Click here to read the whole thing. Here's the Retraction Watch coverage of it; at first glance, looks to be a PI who shouldn't have been a PI. Sounds like he'll spend some time in the pokey for this. 


  1. On one hand, it sounds like Chao probably deserved to be let go. On the other hand, I've worked for some real pieces of shit and I'm impressed by his commitment to getting revenge. Living well isn't the best revenge, kicking your old boss' ass is.

    1. I disagree with your premise nonetheless, but there's quite a difference between kicking someone's ass and blasting them with a shotgun.

    2. Yeah, if someone went for an old-school beatdown in the street they might get off at trial (assuming a jury of former grad students)--jury nullification.

    3. I'm pretty sure this is why the MS is a consolation prize for anyone who quits grad school - I think we'd see more stuff like this if people felt they had nothing to lose.

      The way my old department used to hush up anything embarrassing (especially grad student freakouts), I'm fairly confident that if I had slugged my PI on the way out, they would have kept it quiet and persuaded him not to involve the police. They would have done whatever it took to avoid a public news story that would have triggered awkward questions during the next prospective student weekend. I admit I was toying with the idea, and the prospect of getting an MS in the mail if I played ball and didn't make trouble on my way out was what convinced me not to do it. A person who feels they have nothing to lose is a scary thing.

  2. This story raises some questions. Why did the NYT refer to the shooter as Mr. Chao instead of Dr. Chao? He does have a medical degree. What was Chao doing in the six years between his termination and the shooting?

    It's ironic that Dr. Charney specializes in the treatment of mood disorders.

    1. The NYT does not seem to recognize Ph.Ds as doctors. It's not the first time I noticed them do that.


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