Career criminal shot man at least 7 times while on bail from celebrity-backed bail shop: lawsuit

A pet project backed by some of Hollywood’s most liberal celebrities nearly cost the life of a Las Vegas man, a new lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit stems from a horrific shooting a year ago. On December 20, 2021, Rashawn Gaston-Anderson, 24, entered the Shanghai Taste, just a few miles west of the Las Vegas Strip, and opened fire. Chengyan Wang, a waiter at the facility, was alone at the time and was being taken care of from everywhere seven to 11 gunshot wounds. Gaston Anderson finally plead guilty of attempted robbery with a deadly weapon and mayhem using a deadly weapon in connection with the shooting and was sentenced to seven to 18 years in prison.

Despite life-threatening injuries, Wang survived the shooting and has now filed lawsuits against several defendants, including the nonprofit that allowed Gaston-Anderson to take to the streets that day in the first place. The California-based Bail Project is a “national” organization that provides bail assistance to thousands of defendants across the country to “restore the presumption of innocence, reunite families and challenge a system that criminalizes race and poverty,” claims its website. A Las Vegas office for the bail project, which opened in February 2021, posted $3,000 for Gaston-Anderson just six days before he shot Wang.

Wang’s lawsuit alleges that TBP committed a series of missteps that led to the shooting. For one thing, Gaston-Anderson already had a long criminal record, which included convictions for attempted grand larceny in Las Vegas, burglary in New York, and auto theft in Illinois. In the weeks leading up to the shooting, Gaston-Anderson had been arrested twice on two separate charges. In November 2021, he was arrested for pandering and carrying a concealed weapon and was released without bail. The next day he was arrested for burglary and theft. At that point, Las Vegas Judicial Court Judge Amy Chelini set Gaston-Anderson’s bail $3,000 on the recommendation of the District Attorney’s Office. TBP posted that $3,000 bail on December 14, and Gaston-Anderson shot Wang on December 20.

Wang’s lawsuit also alleges that TBP never actually registered as a bail bonds agency in the state of Nevada, as required by law.

“They go around as a rescue agency, rescuing people with little or no care,” Wang’s attorney Kory Kaplan said.

Wang, who suffered permanent damage from the shooting, is also suing Gaston-Anderson and US Hui De Real Estate Investment Corp., which owns the property where Wang was shot. The lawsuit alleges that the property was inadequately secured. Wang is seeking $15,000 in damages from each defendant named in the lawsuit.

The Bail Project, which claims it is “on a mission to end cash bail,” closed its Las Vegas office in December for “restructuring purposes,” a spokesman for the organization said. Celebrities Richard Branson, Danny Glover and John Legend all sit on the group’s advisory board. Career criminal shot man at least 7 times while on bail from celebrity-backed bail shop: lawsuit

Laura Coffey

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