Michael 'Dog Boy' Tsan, Extortionist Who Slapped Mah Jongg Maven, Gets 52 Months

The man who slapped and then threatened the life of a Chinese mah-jongg parlor owner has gotten a legal bitch slap of his own: Michael "Dog Boy" Tsan was sentenced to 52 months in prison by a federal judge on Monday.

This is the case in which Tsan strode into the parlor of a septuagenarian year old owner back in March and demanded she pay protection money. Yet the woman stood her ground, refusing to pay up, and instead grabbed the phone to call 911. Tsan grabbed the phone out of her hand, slapped her, and threatened her life. To top it off, Tsan later told investigators that the woman had asked to be slapped.

Inspector Henry Seto of the San Francisco Police gang task force told SF Weekly that Tsan is "somebody who does that persistently, with several different businesses ... the exact amount we don't know, because no one else is willing to step forward and file a police report. In the Asian community, especially the Chinese community, it's hard to get people to step up."

But this victim didn't back down. She instead reported Tsan to the police, which spawned an investigation that led to the federal extortion investigation and prosecution.

Seto says the police provided the victim with some "protection" after reporting the suspect, but wouldn't talk details. He said the case shows that the police may be gaining some trust in Chinatown.

"For years we wouldn't get any cases from Chinatown," Seto said. "They would be taken care of internally by the powers that be in Chinatown. It was the thought the police are not to be trusted and won't do anything for you. In the 1940s through the '70s, people saw the police as somebody who just beat the hell out of you ... just come in and search your pockets, steal your money, and, for a lot foreigners, this is what happens to them back home. They come over here and think it's the same thing. [Even here] the standards of the police were not as stringent as they are now. That's why [more people in Chinatown] are stepping forward and trusting us more."

Tsan plaeded guilty in September for extortion through use of force and fear. In addition to the sentence, he will have three years of supervised release, and have to pay $1,200 in restitution.

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