Judge fines soldier $2K for bottle attack
January 25, 2007
PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — A local judge in Gwangju, South Korea, has fined a U.S. soldier more than $2,000 for hitting a local woman in the head with a beer bottle last year, authorities said Tuesday.
Sgt. Montez Clark of the Army’s 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade was fined 2 million won (about $2,154) by a judge in Gwangju district court, a court official said.
The official said the court last Friday sent Clark notification of the fine, which stemmed from a Nov. 5 incident about 4 a.m. in Gwangju.
Gwangju police said Clark struck the woman after she objected to sexual remarks he made to her. She sustained head injuries, police said.
The two had been drinking in Gwangju when the incident occurred, police have said.
According to police, Clark fled after hitting the woman, but they traced him through cell-phone records.
At the time, Clark was scheduled to rotate to the United States. But at the request of South Korean authorities, the U.S. military placed him on “international hold” status, requiring him to remain on the peninsula until the case was concluded.
Before the U.S. military lifts Clark’s international hold status, he first must pay the fine and U.S. Forces Korea legal officials must approve the change in status, the U.S. military said Tuesday.
Clark is assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment at Camp Carroll in Waegwan. At the time of the incident, the battalion was based at Gwangju Air Base, but it since has relocated to Camp Carroll.