2 GIs fined for attacking S. Korean police in separate incidents
SEOUL — Two U.S. Forces Korea servicemembers have been fined for attacking South Korean police officers and destroying property in separate St. Patrick’s Day incidents in Seoul.
A Camp Hovey-based private was fined 5 million won, about $4,400, for damaging property in a bar bathroom in the popular Hongdae entertainment district around 3 a.m., then punching in the face the police officer who tried to stop him, according to the Seoul Central District Court.
The 2nd Infantry Division would not release information about the case or the soldier’s identity, including his name.
The 2ID identified a soldier involved in a similar incident two hours later. Sgt. Jason Carmona of the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, was fined 3 million won, about $2,640, by Seoul Central District Court last month. He had been charged with damaging official goods and interfering with a public official in the exercise of duty.
A court spokesman said the sergeant, who is stationed in Seongnam, home to K-16 Air Base, was arguing with a Pakistani man in front of the Seogyo police station when South Korean police took the Pakistani into the station.
Carmona, 32, tried to go in, too, but was stopped by an officer. He then tore the doorknob off a gate, entered and pushed an officer down the stairs. The head detective of the Mapo police department said the officer was not seriously injured.
Both servicemembers apparently were violating the 1-5 a.m. curfew imposed by USFK commander Gen. James Thurman in 2011 following two high-profile rapes by U.S. soldiers.
The scuffles drew national attention and contributed, along with two other high-profile incidents, to 2ID commander Maj. Gen. Edward Cardon’s decision to temporarily implement a number of restrictions, including a ban on alcohol consumption, on the 10,000 soldiers under his command. The crackdown has since been lifted.