S. Korean prosecutors to charge U.S. soldier with assault
CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — South Korean prosecutors will charge a U.S. soldier with assault in connection with a July 2 attack; three soldiers are being investigated in connection with a Friday night assault; and a 13-year-old American family member is being investigated for allegedly smashing a Korean bus window Saturday.
Lt. Kwon Oh-hyun, of the Uijongbu police department, said assault charges against the 20-year-old soldier from Camp Red Cloud were forwarded to local prosecutors. He said the soldier, identified only as Pfc. Walker, confessed to the July 2 crime Friday after seven hours of questioning.
The South Korean government is granted primary jurisdiction in crimes committed by U.S. military community members while off-duty as outlined by the Status of Forces Agreement that governs the legal status of the U.S. military here.
Kwon said Walker told police the bottle attack happened after a drinking session with two other soldiers, identified only as Pvt. Reynolds, 20, and Pfc. Jerome Everrette, 22, who also were questioned by police.
Walker said he struck the victim in retaliation after the pair bumped into each other in an alley, Kwon said.
Kwon said Everrette, the only member of the group detained at the scene of the attack, initially denied knowing the other soldiers but later admitted to lying. He and Reynolds denied assaulting the victim, he said.
All three soldiers are in U.S. military custody, Kwon said.
2nd Infantry Division public affairs chief Maj. Karl Ivey declined to comment on the reports.
The victim of the attack, 34-year-old Uijongbu chef Cho Su-whan, told Stars and Stripes last week that he wanted compensation from the U.S. government for his injuries, which include a cut to his face about 8 inches long.
A small group of South Korean activists staged a rally Saturday in front of Camp Red Cloud, home to the 2nd ID headquarters, demanding compensation be paid.
Three soldiers investigated in Friday night assault
The Yonhap news agency reported two other U.S. soldiers were arrested in Uijongbu on Friday night on charges of assaulting a South Korean taxi driver and two bystanders.
Other South Korean media reported that the fight started after a U.S. soldier jumped on the roof of a taxi that was stopped at a traffic light. When the driver exited the taxi to complain, the soldiers attacked him, then struck two bystanders who attempted to intervene, the media reports state.
Two soldiers were detained at the scene and another was arrested later at a U.S. military base, the reports state.
Uijongbu police were unable to comment on the Friday incident. Ivey, the 2nd ID spokesman, said Monday U.S. authorities would cooperate in any subsequent investigation by South Korean police.
Soldier’s son allegedly throws bottle at bus
And in another incident on Saturday, a 13-year-old son of a U.S. soldier allegedly threw a whiskey bottle at a moving bus in front of the South Korean Ministry of National Defense in Seoul.
Chief detective Lee Sung-yong of the Yongsan Police Foreign Affairs Department said the incident occurred around 11 p.m. when a group of six American teenagers were drinking by the roadside.
The bottle shattered the front windshield of the bus, which was carrying more than 30 passengers, Lee said.
The bus driver chased the teens, Lee said, and riot police guarding Yongsan Garrison captured three of the six teenagers.
USFK officials were unable to release a statement by deadline Monday. However, they said they would release a statement Tuesday.