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Assailant of 'Harold & Kumar' actor sentenced to three years

Kalpen Modi, famous for his portrayal of Kumar in the 'Harold & Kumar' films and his subsequent post as a White House staffer, was mugged in 2010. His assailant was sentenced Friday.

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Kalpen Modi (l.) stars as Kumar and John Cho stars as Harold in New Line Cinema's release Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay. Kalpen Modi was mugged in 2010, but his assailant was caught and has now been sentenced to three years.

Jamie Trueblood/New Line Cinema/File

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Among the unwritten rules for Washington street thugs: Never target famous members of the White House staff.

It’s a lesson Marcellus Chambers of the District of Columbia just learned.

At 1:20 a.m. on April 20, 2010, Mr. Chambers and an associate confronted Kalpen Modi on “S” Street in the nation’s capital.

Mr. Modi is the associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and the Obama administration’s Liaison to Young Americans.

Had Mr. Chambers and his associate looked closer, they might have also recognized Modi as the actor Kal Penn.

Mr. Penn – playing Kumar – is perhaps best known for having survived a tumultuous trip to White Castle with sidekick Harold in the film aptly titled, "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle." In a sequel, the pair also managed to escape the terror detention camp at Guantanamo Bay.

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