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11/14/06 Editor’s Note: The original headline on this story incorrectly stated the U.S. soldier in question was from Camp Humphreys.

PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — Gwangju authorities have questioned a U.S. soldier they suspect of striking a South Korean woman on the head with a bottle Sunday then fleeing, police told Stars and Stripes on Monday.

The soldier, a member of the 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, denied the allegation during questioning Monday in police custody, a U.S. military spokesman said.

“All we really know is he definitely is denying any allegations that are before him right now and at this time has not been charged with anything,” said Maj. Jerome L. Pionk, a spokesman for 8th U.S. Army in Seoul.

Police later released the soldier to his unit, said David Oten, a spokesman for U.S. Forces Korea in Seoul.

“We continue to cooperate with the Korean authorities,” Oten said. “It’s an ongoing investigation.”

Further details about the soldier, including his name, rank, the battalion to which he’s assigned, and other information about the case, would not be immediately available Monday night, the U.S. military said.

The 27-year-old woman was injured and may require surgery to her forehead and chin, according to the South Korean news outlet Newsis. The incident occurred around 4 a.m., allegedly after the soldier and the woman were drinking, according to the Newsis report.

The two reportedly had been introduced about three months ago by a mutual acquaintance, the report said.

According to the report, the soldier made sexually provocative statements to the woman and when she objected, he struck her.

“He denies that that was how things occurred and that he was in his hotel room that evening,” Pionk said.

Police identified the suspect through cell-phone records, according to the Newsis report.

Hwang Hae-rym contributed to this report.


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