South Korea wants attempted murder charge for servicemember
March 20, 2009
South Korean police will ask local prosecutors to charge a U.S. soldier with attempted murder for a knife attack that injured three people near Osan Air Base earlier this month, they said Thursday.
A bar worker, 27, from the Philippines is off life support, out of intensive care and recovering well despite multiple stab wounds that damaged a lung, intestines and other organs in the March 6 incident, police said Thursday.
But a South Korean air force captain who rushed to her aid suffered wounds that may handicap him for life, a police official told Stars and Stripes. Capt. Cho Jae-hwi underwent surgery to repair damaged glands and other facial injuries, but only partial repairs were possible because his wounds were too extensive, police said.
A second man who went to the woman’s aid, Lee Taek-woon, 27, suffered knife wounds to the leg.
He is making a steady recovery but is still unable to walk, he told Stars and Stripes earlier this week.
All three are expected to remain hospitalized for about another six weeks, police said.
Their alleged assailant is a U.S. soldier assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment, General Support Aviation Battalion, part of the 2nd Infantry Division’s 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade.
He remains in pretrial confinement at the Eighth U.S. Army Confinement Facility at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek.
The military is not releasing the soldier’s name until formal charges are filed.
Police have said he harbored a romantic interest in the bar worker, but she was not interested.
As she left work at a club in the Shinjang Mall entertainment district shortly after midnight, the soldier allegedly set upon her, stabbing her repeatedly.
Police said they questioned the soldier twice last week, and he told them he was too drunk at the time of the incident to remember what might have occurred.