SEOUL — A U.S. Army officer was attacked at knifepoint by three Korean males Sunday night outside Yongsan Garrison in Seoul and sustained a minor stab wound.

U.S. military authorities declined to release the officer’s name, but Stars and Stripes has learned he is Army Lt. Col. Steven Boylan, chief spokesman for 8th U.S. Army.

Boylan was treated for a stab wound and bruises at the 121 General Hospital on Yongsan, then released.

“The three suspects were cursing him in English,” said Army Maj. Holly Pierce, an 8th Army spokeswoman.

The suspects ran off after the attack, which began around 8:40 p.m. in a pedestrian underpass just outside Gate 3, along the east perimeter of the Yongsan installation, near a stretch of Highway 31, Pierce said.

Korean National Police and U.S. Army military police were investigating the attack, Pierce said.

The attack came only one day after a massive anti-American demonstration in Seoul in which tens of thousands denounced the acquittal last month of two U.S. soldiers in a roadside accident in which two teenage South Korean girls were struck and killed by a 45-ton U.S. Army armored vehicle June 13.

Boylan has been the Army’s principal spokesman on the case, going before South Korean and other news media regularly to represent the U.S. military’s side of the controversy.

When he was attacked, Boylan was wearing blue jeans, a button-front shirt and casual jacket. The suspects, described only as Korean males in their early to mid-20s, approached him from the other direction and began cursing at him.

Boylan did not respond, Pierce said, and walked past the three when from behind he was punched or shoved between the shoulder blades, driving him face-first into a wall and causing a minor head injury.

The three then fell upon Boylan, who tried to get to his feet and push them off.

It was then that one of the assailants thrust a knife toward Boylan’s torso.

The blade was about 5 inches long, Pierce said.

Seeing the assailant lunge, Boylan twisted his body, but the knife went through his coat and shirt and opened a small cut along his left side just below the rib cage.

“He did not require stitches but it still opened him up pretty well,” Pierce said.

“The investigation is ongoing,” Pierce said, “and I think you could safely say, while we certainly appreciate the Koreans’ right to voice their opinions, we do not support this violence against our soldiers.”

U.S. military authorities were expected to weigh possible adoption of additional safety measures for servicemembers in South Korea as a result of the incident

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