A Korean-American chopper mechanic working for USFK has been arrested by Pyeongtaek police after he allegedly threatened a Korean motorist with a fishing knife (HT to Charles Reeder).
According to the cops, the suspect—identified as Mr. J (48)—nearly hit the car of a one Mr. Choe (42) on the road near Oseong IC.
J stopped his car and got into an argument with Choe. Unable to control his anger, J got out of his car, took out a fishing knife from his trunk, and waved it several times at Choe through the half-open passenger-side window, curing as he did so.
Feeling threatened, Choe tried to pull away, but J gave chase, scratching Choe’s car with his knife twice.
Choe then got out of his car, picked up a rock and protested, “What’s your problem? I’m a Korean cop.” At which point J fled.
Or so it has been “confirmed,” says Yonhap, quoting mostly from the police.
Choe called the cops, and J was stopped by police 15 minutes later. The police say J did not resist arrest and confessed everything.
During the investigation, J testified that he had felt endangered when Choe’s car came at him from the opposite direction as he tried to make a U-turn on the left-turn light. Police plan to use the cars’ blackboxes and nearby CCTV footage to determine who did what and hand out fines.
A USFK contractor, J reportedly served in the US military for 16 years.
As he falls under the SOFA, he was turned over to US MPs after the arrest.
Interestingly enough, J’s family are complaining that J was treated unfairly during the investigation on account of his US citizenship.
In a phone call with Yonhap, J’s wife claimed he was being treated like a criminal because of anti-Americanism and that the cops only listened to Choe’s side of the story and didn’t ask her husband a single thing at the station.
She also said it was Choe who started the whole thing by nearly killing her husband by running the light, and that it was Choe who threatened her husband with a rock as he lie on the ground, haven fallen when Choe suddenly pulled away as J was holding the passenger seat side of Choe’s car.
It’s all so unfair, she said.
Luckily, we have some video footage of the incident, courtesy Dong-A TV.
Would love to see the entire footage to get a better idea of what happened. Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if both sides are at fault, nor would it surprise me that after BB and the Gang, the KNP isn’t being especially courteous to USFK personnel who get arrested. Oh, and is Choe really a cop? If not, is claiming to be a cop illegal?
Then again, the cops say he admitted everything (and in the video, he does say he pulled out a knife), and it wouldn’t surprise me if J’s wife is just playing the police bigotry card.
Either way, though, can somebody explain to me why ANYONE attached to USFK would be pulling out a knife on a Korean civilian NOW? Is USFK aiming for some sort of political Darwin Award?
And in other fun USFK-related news, it has been learned that some of the seven American MPs involved in last year’s incident in which three Korean civilians were handcuffed near a US base in Pyeongtaek left Korea between late last year and recently. Prosecutors allowed the GIs to leave after getting from the US military written confirmations and guarantees that the suspects would appear for questioning whenever prosecutors asked, but it’s unlikely to make many people happy and controversy is expected.