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Camp Stanley soldiers arrested after tussle on bus

GIs accused of breaking window, assaulting passengers

By ERIK SLAVIN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 14, 2006

UIJEONGBU, South Korea — Two American soldiers who Korean National Police say assaulted passengers and broke a Uijeongbu city bus window were arrested Friday, according to Army officials and South Korean media reports.

South Korean police arrested a male sergeant, 25, and a female corporal, 21, on Friday night and turned them over to military police, according to media reports.

The soldiers are from the 19th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), 46th Transportation Company on Camp Stanley, an Army spokesman said Tuesday.

South Korean cable television stations have been playing footage from the bus security camera, which shows a person shaking the bus door while one man shouts in English: “Open the [expletive] door!”

U.S. Forces Korea officials were not available for comment Tuesday afternoon.

A South Korean manager for the Pyeung-an bus company who declined to be named told Stars and Stripes he was invited on base Monday and was paid an undisclosed settlement.

The manager said he couldn’t understand why the case had garnered so much media attention.

“Drunk Korean male passengers are generally making a far bigger commotion and violence on the bus, twice a month on average,” he said. “The last time I saw U.S. soldiers disrupting this bus company was two years ago. … It is a very rare case for the U.S. soldiers to be involved in this turmoil.”

The soldiers were singing loudly when they boarded the bus, before they began breaking the door, the manager said.

No one was hurt and the soldiers have formally apologized to the company, the manager said.

Uijeongbu police said that the policemen on the scene would not be available until later this week.

About 10 U.S. soldiers boarded the bus near the Uijeongbu subway station about 10:30 p.m., bus driver Kim Jong-chul told Korean media outlets this week.

The soldiers began making a commotion, said Kim, who described the soldiers as “heavily drunk.”

While he drove, a soldier demanded that he open the door, Kim said.

While Kim took out his cell phone to call police, another soldier forced the door open and jumped off the moving bus. Another soldier grabbed the emergency hammer and broke one of the windows. Kim stopped the bus, and two or three soldiers jumped through the window, he said.

The remaining soldiers pushed the passengers in their way and a Korean who tried to stop them, Kim said.

A small version of the video in an SBS Korean news report is available from http://news.naver.com/news.

Hwang Hae-rym contributed to this report.


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