"Lady' in red pepper sprays Mr. Dam in California

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A popular Vietnamese pop star was attacked with pepper spray by a 64- year-old man wearing a red dress and a blond wig.

The attacker, Ly Tong, approached Dam Vinh Hung on stage as he performed in Santa Clara, California, on July 1 8.

Dressed as a woman, Tong motioned like he was going to hand the star a flower. But as Hung bent down to accept the gift, Tong shot the chemicals into the singer's face and chest.

The capsicum also afflicted female singer My Tam, who was also performing alongside Hung, and several concert goers. No one was seriously injured, US media reported. Tong was immediately arrested by Santa Clara police.

Hung, known in Vietnam as "Mr. Dam", said many audience members approached him after the show to express their appreciation of the show and disapproval of the act.

"I was really moved by the affection of the audience and friends after the accident," Hung said.

Hung's manager Luong Minh Hong told the Tuoi Tre newspaper that no changes would be made to the singer's US tour, including a concert in Orange County, a hotbed of reactionary anti-Vietnamese government sentiment.

Hung's tour to the US was organized by the US-based Saigon Entertainment and he performed at the Santa Clara show alongside Vietnamese singers My Tam and Duong Trieu Vu. He said the organizers have hired four guards to protect him after the incident.

On July 21, Tong was arraigned in a San Jose courthouse on four felony counts and one misdemeanor charge.

If convicted, Tong could face five years in prison, Amy Cornell of the district attorney's office told KTVU news website.

Ly Tong, whose real name is Le Van Tong, was born in Thua Thien-Hue in 1946. In 1992, Tong wrested control of a Vietnam Airlines jetliner that took off from Bangkok, Thailand, and forced the crew to fly him over Ho Chi Minh City, where he dumped 50,000 leaflets before jumping out a cockpit window and parachuting into the city.

He was arrested and sentenced in 1993 to 20 years in Vietnamese prison.

He was set free after serving just 6 years.

In January 2000, he rented a plane in Miami and flew over Havana, showering Cuba's capital with leaflets calling for the ouster of President Fidel Castro.

Just hours before President Clinton arrived on his historic trip to Vietnam in November 2000, Tong hijacked a small airplane from Thailand, flew over downtown Ho Chi Minh City and dropped thousands of leaflets calling for unrest.

Upon his return to Thailand, Tong was arrested and sentenced by a Thai court to seven years in prison. He was released in 2006.

In 2008, he attempted to hijack a South Korean airplane to drop more leaflets.

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