U of U student arrested for allegedly threatening and extorting roommate

Dec 11, 2021, 4:53 PM
university of utah...
University of Utah Health has ranked in the top 10 nationally for the 13th straight year. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — A University of Utah student was arrested Friday after allegedly threatening and extorting his roommate.

Kang Jie Lee, 21, had been previously arrested late last month for investigation of selling weed out of his on-campus dorm room. Friday’s arrest was a resort of retaliation by Lee toward his roommate for getting him caught.

Threatening and extorting

According to the probable cause statement, Lee returned home on Nov. 29 after being released from jail the night before. He verbally intimated the victim. Additionally, Lee accused the roommate of turning him in and ruining his life.

The victim was pressured into paying Lee a little less than a $1,000 through Venmo in reparations, according to the probable cause statement. 

During the next several days, Lee intimidated and pressured the victim to pay him a few more thousand dollars through Venmo. 

From bad to worse

Lee returned home Thursday evening at about 6 p.m. He began banging on the victim’s bedroom door. Once the victim opened the door, Lee began to verbally blame the victim again for ruining his life. He also punched the victim three times – in the forearm, behind his left ear and in the chest. 

After leaving the room for a moment, Lee returned with a knife in his hand, the tip was pointed at the victim. He then demanded the victim give him the remaining money in his bank account. 

For his safety, the victim transferred another sum of money through Venmo to Lee.

After getting to a location, he felt safe at, the victim notified authorities of the situation.

According to the probable cause statement, when detectives interviewed Lee (after Miranda admonishment), he admitted to shoving the victim on Nov. 29 and forced him to pay $850 through Venmo.

During the interview with detectives, Lee said he is a former sergeant in the Singapore military and was trained to scare people. He said he could see the fear in his roommate’s eyes during this encounter, according to the probable cause statement.

In all, the probable cause statement says the victim transferred a little less than $4,000 through Venmo to Lee.

Lee was arrested for investigation on the following: aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, aggravated assault threat with a show of force; tampering with a witness; threat of a dangerous weapon in a fight and theft by extortion.

Lee was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail.

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U of U student arrested for allegedly threatening and extorting roommate