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4 US soldiers charged in March 16 brawl in South Korea

SEOUL — Four U.S. soldiers have been indicted for their roles in a March 16 brawl outside a Dongducheon night club, during which three of them were stabbed and the other hit with a small baseball bat, South Korean prosecutors said Tuesday.

The Korean club manager who allegedly stabbed the three soldiers was also indicted, according to the Uijeongbu District Prosecutor’s Office.

All involved face the South Korean charge of “violating the act on the punishment of violence.”

The 6 a.m. brawl in The Ville outside Camp Casey was the most serious of three incidents involving U.S. soldiers in South Korea over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend, after which 2nd Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen. Edward Cardon temporarily implemented a number of restrictions — including a ban on alcohol consumption and the end of three- and four-day weekend passes — on his 10,000 soldiers in South Korea. Those restrictions have since been lifted.

Police said everyone involved in the Dongducheon brawl had been drinking prior to the incident. The confrontation involved five Camp Casey soldiers and began when four of them tried to help a drunken Filipina woman who repeatedly fell down outside a club as she tried to stand up, according to police reports.

The woman’s husband, a Korean-American soldier, saw the encounter and mistakenly believed the other soldiers were flirting with her. He took a small baseball bat from his car, handed it to his wife, and began fighting the four soldiers with a knife, police said.

The club owner, Lee Chang-hon, jumped into the fray, grabbed the knife from the soldier, who police said was an acquaintance, and stabbed three of the soldiers, police said.

Following an investigation by South Korean and U.S. investigators, the prosecutor’s office filed indictments against Lee and Spc. Paul Noel, who was struck with the bat, and referred their cases to Uijeongbu District Court, officials said.

Pvt. Edward Peedin (stabbed in the midsection), Spc. Alexander Jones (stabbed in the buttocks) and Spc. Bobby Wright (finger cut), had their cases referred to “summary procedures,” the 2ID release said. A prosecutor’s office official said the three will most likely be fined for their involvement in the incident.

rabiroff.jon@stripes.com
chang.yookyong@stripes.com

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