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Drunk US soldier beats up taxi driver in Seongnam

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In this footage recorded by a black-box video camera inside a taxi, an unidentified American soldier from Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, in the red circle, got in the taxi at Itaewon in Seoul's Yongsan District, Nov. 27. The drunk man ended up injuring the driver and leaving the vehicle without paying. Screenshot from YouTube
In this footage recorded by a black-box video camera inside a taxi, an unidentified American soldier from Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, in the red circle, got in the taxi at Itaewon in Seoul's Yongsan District, Nov. 27. The drunk man ended up injuring the driver and leaving the vehicle without paying. Screenshot from YouTube

By Ko Dong-hwan

A member of the United States Forces Korea (USFK) has been arrested after beating up a taxi driver so badly that the victim could not work for a number of days, according to the police in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province on Sunday.

The aggressor's attack was recorded by a black-box video camera installed inside the taxi at about 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 27. He threw punches at the victim, who is 58 years old, using both arms as the driver took the beating whilst trying to guard his head with his hands.

The American then returned to Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, right across the road from where the incident happened. The aggressor left his wallet on the back seat of the taxi, where his identification card was found. Officers from Seongnam Sujeong Police Station arrived at the scene after the soldier fled the scene. The authorities said that they will call in the aggressor to the police station for questioning.

The offender, whose name was withheld by the authorities on privacy grounds, got in the taxi at Itaewon in the central Seoul district of Yongsan. He was drunk and was assisted by an English-speaking male who helped him get inside the taxi. "Please drive my friend home safely, please. K16, Seoul Air Base, Seongnam Si," the man, holding what appeared to be a beer bottle in his left hand, said to the driver through the front passenger seat window. As the driver said, "Okay, get in, get in," the aggressor got in the back seat.

The American soldier, right, attacked the driver, left, after the taxi arrived at Seoul Air Base. He then fled the scene. Screenshot from YouTube
The American soldier, right, attacked the driver, left, after the taxi arrived at Seoul Air Base. He then fled the scene. Screenshot from YouTube

While on the move, the American requested that the taxi stop and opened the rear door four times, confounding the taxi driver.

After reaching the destination, the American tried to pay the fare with his credit card but it was declined. The two then got out of the car and headed to an ATM at a nearby convenience store where the American was going to withdraw money. But as they returned to the taxi, the American started attacking the driver.

Following the incident, the driver told
TV broadcaster SBS that he vomited after he got home that night and said he felt so sick he couldn't work for a week. "I want to receive treatments at a hospital but I can't because I must make a living. So I just took medicine and have been hanging on."

The driver said the aggressor beat him 10 times, after which, he called the police. He also is worried about whether or not the U.S. military will cover the costs of his hospital bills and the potential income he couldn't make due to the injury. The police said the issue depends on how the military will respond to the incident in pending communications between the two authorities.


Ko Dong-hwan aoshima11@koreatimes.co.kr


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