Twin brother admits dead burglar had struck before: ‘I thought he grew out of it’

The man who died after falling out of a high-rise window during a burglary had been battling drugs for years.

That’s according to the man’s twin brother, who also told us there’s more to him than just someone who made bad choices.

Police say Richard Hong, 37, burglarized a condominium on University Avenue. The victim spotted him in her apartment, and he died falling out of a window.

His brother says Hong broke into other people’s homes before, but it was never about the money.

He says Hong comes from a loving family who thought that he was on his way to straightening himself out, until they found out what happened.

Hong’s twin brother did not want us to show his face, not just because he and his family are grieving. He says they’re also embarrassed about what happened and feel bad for the woman whose apartment was burglarized Thursday.

He says he knew something was wrong, even before he was told what happened.

“I saw a tarp on the ground and I just had a really bad feeling,” he said. “I got a call about an hour later saying that they want my brother to identify the body. I don’t know how you’re supposed to react about hearing about your twin brother.”

He says Hong was the type of guy who was always well-liked and stood up for other people. The problem was he just never knew how to say no.

“So when somebody offered him, whether it be smoking weed or any type of drug, whether it be ice, he just never knew how to say no,” he said.

Police say Hong sneaked into the woman’s apartment through a window. When she spotted him, he went back through the window and fell hundreds of feet to his death.

“Did you know that he was capable of (burglary)?” KHON2 asked.

“He did that years ago and I thought he grew out of it. I thought that he was out of that stage,” the brother replied.

He says Hong wasn’t doing it for the money because the family always supported him.

“So it was out of the thrill of it, do you know?” KHON2 asked.

“I have no idea,” he said. “I don’t think it was the thrill. I don’t think it was the money. It was never about the money.”

He says Hong had been cleaning himself up and living with their parents. He was also going to school and looking ahead to a career.

“He was an IT guy, great at computers,” he said. “We thought everything was going great. My parents stayed with him all the time, moved him into the house. My parents thought he was doing perfect. That’s why they took a trip back to Korea.”

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