Army hands over 2nd ID soldier to South Korea
CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — A 2nd Infantry Division soldier accused of robbing and assaulting a Uijeongbu taxi driver with four other soldiers Christmas night was taken into South Korean custody Friday, South Korean and Army officials confirmed Monday.
Pvt. Kidrem Cortez Porter, 21, was transferred from confinement at Camp Humphreys to Seoul Correctional Institute pending a not-yet-scheduled trial date, officials from the Uijeongbu Prosecutor’s Office said Monday.
Uijeongbu prosecutor Ha Ceung-heon filed robbery and assault charges against all five soldiers, but the others remain in U.S. Forces Korea custody.
“We will continue to cooperate fully under the status of forces agreement,” said 2nd ID spokesman Maj. Karl Ivey on Monday.
Prosecutors say it appears the soldiers planned the attack. A 21-year-old private choked the taxi driver from the back seat of the car while a 21-year-old corporal wearing leather gloves hit the driver over the head with a bottle, prosecutors said.
Another private then stole about $180 and the driver’s cell phone, according to prosecutors and the taxi driver’s statement.
According to the driver, the soldiers then threw him in the car’s trunk, from which he escaped and ran to a police station.
Porter already had been under base restriction after a South Korean court sentenced him to 3½ years in prison for a March 2005 robbery. That sentence later was reduced to 1½ years on appeal, but still was awaiting a final appeal when Porter left base without authorization on Christmas night.
Kim Sung-mun, the prosecutor who originally requested custody of Porter, said he did so because the taxi robbery was the second crime the soldier is accused of committing.
The soldiers involved are from the 4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment and 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment, according to 2nd ID officials.
Hwang Hae-rym contributed to this report.