Two U.S. soldiers were detained after allegedly assaulting a South Korean man in a scuffle over a motorcycle, then kicking the police officer trying to detain them in Dongducheon, a city near the border with North Korea, police said Tuesday.
The two women were released to U.S. Military Police after refusing to make a statement about Monday’s incident, but police were hoping to question them further later this week, an officer in Dongducheon told Stars and Stripes.
The Eighth Army was aware of the report and “an investigation is being conducted to determine the facts,” spokeswoman Col. Kimeisha McCullum said in an email.
According to the police account, a 58-year-old man approached the soldiers after his motorcycle fell over when one of them who had been sitting on it stood up shortly after midnight. The man, who was a member of a neighborhood watch group, tried to grab her, and the soldiers began attacking him, police said.
Police were called to the scene, but the soldiers kicked an officer in the groin as he tried to detain them with handcuffs. No serious injuries were reported, the officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity in exchange for providing details. Police have CCTV footage of the incident, he said.
The suspects weren’t identified, but the officer said one is a 20-year-old soldier based at Camp Humphreys, south of Seoul, and the other is a 19-year-old with the 2nd Infantry Division in Dongducheon, which is home to Camp Casey.
The United States maintains about 28,500 servicemembers in South Korea, which remains technically at war with the North after the 1950-53 conflict ended with an armistice instead of a peace treaty.
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