3 questioned about alleged role in attack on cab driver
May 11, 2007
Kunsan prosecutors questioned two U.S. airmen and an American civilian Wednesday about their alleged role in choking and punching a local cab driver and trying to steal his cab last month.
Police last week said the three admitted attacking the driver because they wanted to drive themselves to a Jeonju city nightclub. The incident occurred in the early morning of April 23 in Kunsan city.
Police forwarded a recommendation that the three be charged with robbery and assault. Prosecutors will make their decision after their investigation.
Two of the suspects are Air Force police officers assigned to the 8th Security Forces Squadron, part of Kunsan’s 8th Fighter Wing. The civilian worked at a health products store on the base.
Authorities said they probably would continue questioning the three Thursday.
The cab driver, 48-year-old Lee Ki-jung, was hospitalized at Kunsan Medical Center. He has said he sustained nerve damage and head, knee and other injuries.
Lee was discharged May 4 but will require outpatient care, hospital officials said Wednesday.
The incident prompted 8th Fighter Wing commander Col. Jeffrey Lofgren to restrict servicemembers to base for more than five days.
Airmen interviewed during the restriction said their unit leaders told them the action was aimed partly at averting possible attacks on U.S. servicemembers by local South Koreans who might have been angered by the incident.
Lofgren said he restricted the troops to impress upon each servicemember the need to behave toward the local community with conduct “above reproach.”
Hwang Hae-rym contributed to this report.
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