ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on March 4th, 2013 at 6:37 am

USFK Hands Over the Itaewon Pellet Gun Bandits In Compliance With the SOFA; Anti-USFK Crowd Proved Wrong Once Again

UPDATE: Just to further blow holes in the belief that US soldiers can get away with crimes in Korea and hide on base from Korean authorities, USFK has now allowed the police to interview the pellet gun bandit that is still in the hospital on Yongsan Garrison after being shot:

SEOUL — South Korean police took the unusual step of going on base to interview a U.S. soldier in his hospital bed Tuesday about his involvement in a high-speed car chase that led to officers shooting him.

A half-dozen South Koreans arrived in a police van at the Brian Allgood Community Hospital, where doctors cleared him for the interview. The soldier, a private first class stationed at Yongsan who was shot in the upper body, was listed in stable condition. [Stars & Stripes]

You can read the rest at the link, but the female who is the wife of the Staff Sergeant the Stars and Stripes confirmed is a corporal, so that makes all three of these idiots GIs. The article also includes a statement from a Korean policeman who believes that they should not have to file paperwork to interview American soldiers in accordance with the SOFA. I just wish that one time that an S&S reporter would ask one of these SOFA complainers if they believe that authorities in countries where ROK troops are stationed should be able to grab their soldiers whenever they feel like it for questioning with no SOFA process? The SOFA process allows USFK to make sure the person the police want to question has a translator and lawyer available during questioning to protect their rights since they are not familiar with the ROK judicial system and do not understand the language. Even idiots like this Pellet Gun Trio who are obviously guilty of various crimes deserve to have due process.
Original: In compliance with the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) USFK handed over one of the two GI Pellet Gun Bandits over to the Korean police today.  The 2nd GI is still in the hospital at Yongsan Garrison where Korean police may question him there instead:

Image via the Hankyoreh.

Two U.S. soldiers presented themselves to Korean police Monday over allegedly threatening civilians with an air rifle on Saturday night and Sunday morning in Itaewon, police said.

A 26-year-old sergeant, identified by police as “Lopez,” presented himself under escort at 2 p.m. to Yongsan Police Station in Seoul.

Sgt. Lopez was quizzed over whether he and two colleagues fired an air gun on the street near the Hamilton Hotel and why he ran away after police approached them.

A second suspect identified by police as “Wendy” appeared at the station later to also answer questions.

Police delayed summoning the third suspect, identified by them as a 23-year-old private first class named “Dixon,” as he was in a military hospital after being shot in the shoulder during a car chase through Seoul.

According to police, Dixon told U.S. military police he was shot by an Arab but police have asked the U.S. Army to hand over the bullet he was wounded with as evidence, as they believe it was fired by a policeman.

The three soldiers fled in an Optima sedan after refusing to cooperate with police officers who had been dispatched to Itaewon Subway Station after receiving calls that American soldiers were threatening civilians with an air rifle.  [Korea Times]

The “Wendy” in the article is reportedly the Staff Sergeant’s wife and according to other reports not a GI.  Here is what really gets me in this article is how the Korea Times continues to perpetuate that all these USFK soldiers are getting away with crimes and there is nothing Korea can do about it because of the SOFA:

It is uncertain whether the police will be able to hold them accountable for the crimes given past record. According to data from the prosecutors’ office, 6.1 percent of 344 crimes alleged against U.S. servicemen here were indicted in 2011.

In July last year, seven U.S. military police officers at a camp in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province were investigated for allegedly handcuffing three civilians over a parking dispute near the camp. However, the investigation of the suspects has made no progress, with none of the suspects indicted yet, according to police.

I have made this challenge before and no one has been able to prove me wrong, but I would like the Korea Times to name one incident where USFK did not hand over a servicemember accused of a crime in Korea when requested by the Korean authorities?  The Osan Handcuff Scandal they cited shows their lack of SOFA knowledge because the Air Force SPs were on official duty at the time the incident happened and thus not subject to being arrested by Korean authorities.  If a soldier is off duty and commits a crime off-post, the Korean authorities can request jurisdiction and USFK will hand the servicemember over.  It happens all the time. Check the USFK Court Martial and ROK Criminal Prosecution postings that I regularly publish on this site.

As far as the statistics cited, being accused of a crime does not mean you are guilty of the crime.  I know for Chinboistas and the anti-USFK crowd any accusation against a US servicemember means he/she must be guilty, but if a servicemember is accused of doing something criminal and the Korean police request he/she be handed over, USFK authorities will hand the person over. I can’t say this enough, but it happens all the time.  Something else these so called statistics do not tell you is how many of these alleged crimes the Korean police decided not to prosecute because they let USFK handle it?  I have seen in the past the Korean police let the military handle incidents off post that only involve GIs and not any Koreans.  Examples are two GIs fighting amongst each other, being drunk and disorderly in public, or urinating on buildings.  They did not harm any Koreans and it is less paperwork for the Korean police if they let USFK handle it.  Then you also have the unpaid parking ticket trick that are used to inflate statistics so pretty much the numbers the Korea Times presented are absolutely worthless without specific examples of what the 344 alleged crimes are.

This distorted line of thinking that USFK will not hand over servicemembers in compliance with the SOFA has even infected a very smart person over at the “Ask A Korean” blog:

So, to reiterate: a foreign army is occupying the middle of the city, and some of them are dumbasses who were threatening civilians with guns, engaged in a late night car chase, tried to kill a police man and got away with only injuring him in the process. And Koreans cannot do anything about it unless USFK voluntarily turns the soldiers over, and good luck getting that to happen. [Ask A Korean]

It is interesting that within hours USFK proved “The Korean” wrong and handed the suspects over like they always do when requested.  So once again I would like someone to name an incident where a servicemember committed a crime off-duty and off-post and USFK refused to hand them over in compliance with the SOFA?

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  • Fanwarrior
    6:45 am on March 4th, 2013 1

    It doesn’t matter if it has happened or not, the fact remains that it could happen right? If the USFK doesn’t want to hand someone over, is there anything the Korean authorities can do except twiddle their thumbs? and being on official duty is hardly an excuse when the behaviour is far outside the scope of your “official duty”.

    I don’t see anywhere that the Korean was proven wrong. Where did he say that the USFK wouldn’t hand them over? He only said the investigation couldn’t go anywhere if they weren’t handed over, and there was nothing the police could do about it if they weren’t.

    This is one of the many false logical arguments, there is a great website out there you can read up about it, but you’ve got to make one of those so you can try and crank up the apologist rhetoric. Let’s not forget that despite the military handing them over, american service members and a spouse tried to kill a Korean cop among other things. Get some self respect and try conduct your discourse like an adult.

  • jjkk
    7:33 am on March 4th, 2013 2

    Deleted by Admin: Off topic and false.

  • tbonetylr
    7:42 am on March 4th, 2013 3

    Korean Police Officer: Do you promise to go get foreigners wherever, whenever, and however you can?
    Korean Taxi Driver: Yes sir, yes sir :???:
    Korean P.O.: You have now been deputized; Book Em Dannu!

    Next up, Korean bus drivers and citizens.

  • tbonetylr
    7:53 am on March 4th, 2013 4

    That taxi driver could be a criminal/ex-con but he’ll still probably get a reward.

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    7:59 am on March 4th, 2013 5

    @1- The Korean said “good luck getting that to happen.” and a few hours later the suspects were handed over. He was proven wrong case closed.

    USFK will hand over servicemembers when requested to by Korean authorities. If they did not they would be in violation of the SOFA which is a signed diplomatic agreement between the two countries. USFK commanders cannot just ignore the SOFA whenever they want to. To claim otherwise shows your absolute ignorance.

  • biracialracer
    8:22 am on March 4th, 2013 6

    Bullocks #1&2, the Korean media portrays GI’s and other foreigners in a negative, slanted light all the time and have been doing so for a very long time, often with made up stories…prove that wrong.

    Why trust Korean sources at all when it comes to this kind of thing? Giving back what they dish out is hard for Koreans and their apologists I guess. Let’s face it, any perceived, or even imaginary slight made against Koreans/Korea makes Koreans go bonkers, so expect back.

    If these people broke the law, then punishment is due, but you blokes are crazy if you think any foreigner should take what Koreans and their media say at face value, especially about GI’s and Eglish teachers. Sorry but history shows one should not. Now, where’s that American beef?

  • Glans
    8:34 am on March 4th, 2013 7

    Maybe when the Korean said, “good luck getting that to happen,” he really meant it. ;-)

  • tbonetylr
    9:01 am on March 4th, 2013 8

    Am I correct to believe the story goes that the taxi driver stopped at the ATM and asked the policeman if he wanted to get in the car and chase the foreigners? If so, I can’t believe it. I say the cop heard something on the radio and went out to the street to catch a cab. Cab drivers(ex-con or not) are more capable of doing police work than the police themselves. :oops:

  • Tom
    9:02 am on March 4th, 2013 9

    #1 and #2

    Just so that you are aware, remember those US MP thugs that beat up and arrested a South Korean citizen for parking violations in front of his own property? Well, it’s been seven months, but the only thing the USFK has been doing is saying “the case is still under investigation”. They put them “under investigation” until the Korean public forget about it. That’s how most cases are handled in Korea by the USFK. The only cases that they do something about are the very high profile cases where the Korean public and the media keep an eye the USFK, putting on a very high pressure. But if Korean public take off their eyes and start forgetting about the cases (which often happens until the next series of problems), then this is what will happen – the USFK will also forget about it conveniently.

    Just be aware, if you even remotely criticize the US military here, you’ll be accused of being a racist, unfair and lying Korean media, a Korean crazy who’s making up stories, and anti American. Then they’ll call for the Americans to get out of Korea and call for the destruction of South Korea from the North Koreans and Chinese.

  • tbonetylr
    9:09 am on March 4th, 2013 10

    Where were all the cop cars? Weren’t there any available, where were they?

  • tbonetylr
    9:12 am on March 4th, 2013 11

    Is that Tom Thumb #1, #2, or :?:

  • guitard
    9:13 am on March 4th, 2013 12

    Tom wrote:

    Just so that you are aware, remember those US MP thugs that beat up and arrested a South Korean citizen for parking violations in front of his own property? Well, it’s been seven months, but the only thing the USFK has been doing is saying “the case is still under investigation”.

    Of course, you can provide a citation from a reputable source, right? Let’s see it.

  • Dr.Yu
    9:38 am on March 4th, 2013 13

    #2 deleted? Off topic and false???? c`mon he was just stating his point of view like most people do here, and frankly speaking he was not even close to the level of ignorance and stupidity of people like back jae in who claims koreans are the stupidest people in the world regardless of the subject he comments, and the post is deleted???? Double standard here !!!!! If you are not ready to hear some frank and honest comments opposing the main stream here why don`t you just shut this blog and go fishing GI? Freedom and democracy are not just beautiful words you write in your bombs before dropping over the arabs heads ….. how about putting it in practice here???? Am I off topic??? well I would call it complain, can you live with that???

  • Tom
    12:02 pm on March 4th, 2013 14

    “Of course, you can provide a citation from a reputable source, right? Let’s see it.”

    OK then since you’re so smarter, what punishment did they get, guitard? Answer: nothing. Same thing for the six soldiers on the subway molesting a girl.

  • The Korean
    1:00 pm on March 4th, 2013 15

    So once again I would like someone to name an incident where a servicemember committed a crime off-duty and off-post and USFK refused to hand them over in compliance with the SOFA?

    Too easy.

  • Dr.Yu
    1:38 pm on March 4th, 2013 16

    #15. Thats prof is unacceptable. You know why???…. Well, frankly speaking I don´t know exactly why, but people here will find out the reason :lol: …. they always do, they are the most intelligent people on earth (but why such intelligent people are wasting their time in korea is beyond me….) …. anyway, maybe they will blame the source, maybe racism, maybe the stupidity of koreans, maybe korean nationalism, maybe the garlic in our kimchi, maybe the K-pop, maybe the plastic surgery industry, maybe our pennis size ….. well, the list is long ….. :lol:
    PS. Why they are concerned about the size of our pennis is also beyond me …. but they are reeeeeeeeaaaalllllyyyyyyy concerned about it (I think they cant even sleep well…)… BUT, no problem, cuz no american girl ever complained about it to me ….. :lol:

  • Leon LaPorte
    3:23 pm on March 4th, 2013 17

    13. I agree with you. Even wackos can make a valid point from time to time, or steer discourse in another direction.

    16. LOL

  • Flunky Brewster
    3:32 pm on March 4th, 2013 18

    The korea Times is one step below a tourist’s guide to strip clubs and bars when it comes to journalism standards.

  • Onezime
    4:12 pm on March 4th, 2013 19


    What’s a “pennis”? Is it like a regular penis, but it’s flat at the end and the balls are fuzzy and yellow?

  • Onezime
    4:14 pm on March 4th, 2013 20


    Mmmm…Yeah, I just realized the part about the fuzzy yellow balls could be misconstrued as being racist. It wasn’t meant to be.

  • Fanwarrior
    5:35 pm on March 4th, 2013 21

    #5 Did I claim otherwise? No I didn’t, you know if you can’t make a point without just lying, I really have to wonder. We did this last time, where you just made up things you claimed I said and when you were called on it mysteriously moved on to the next blog post.

    I asked you a specific question:
    If they do no hand over the individual, what recourse do the police have?
    Stand outside the yongsan base and stamp their feet?
    Can they go onto the base and get them?
    Are there any penalties built into SOFA if such a situation occurs?

    and as #15 points out, it already happened. So looks like you’ve been proven wrong, I expect you to start making something up and/or scurry off to the next thread in 3…2…

  • USFK cretins appear before police. Well, two of ‘em, anyway. | The Marmot's Hole
    6:01 pm on March 4th, 2013 22

    [...] this Sgt. Lopez creature and his wife appeared before Yongsan police yesterday afternoon, where according to KBS, they admitted to most of the charges against [...]

  • CurfewViolator
    6:56 pm on March 4th, 2013 23

    15, 16, 21

    You talking about this guy?

    Think he was turned over.

  • Obama's Speech Coach
    8:18 pm on March 4th, 2013 24

    Don’t try to confuse ‘em with facts… North Korea only allows 28 haircuts…

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    8:19 pm on March 4th, 2013 25

    @23- I think #15 is referring to the case you cite. The hand over took longer than usual because it was unclear if the Koreans had jurisdiction because the drugs were confiscated at Incheon and not delivered to the soldier. You can read this posting and follow the comments in regards to the debate on whether the Koreans had authority over the incident:

    The bottom line is that USFK decided to hand the guy over, but it would have been easier if the Korean authorities let the soldier receive the package and then bust him. The USFK court martial results for February have not been published so I do not know how much jail time the guy ended up receiving.

  • Tom
    8:47 pm on March 4th, 2013 26

    No time, no punishment, no nothing for these guys who beat on a Korean citizen shop owner who parked his car in front of his own store. This happened over seven months ago and yet nothing has been done about it. :roll:

  • Fanwarrior
    8:57 pm on March 4th, 2013 27

    You see Tom that was because they were on duty. According to the enlightened people here that doesn’t count. A soldier could be on duty to drive a truck from one base to another, pull over in a village, slaughter a family and that’s okay, because he was on duty. No need to worry about that. carry on.

  • CurfewViolator
    9:20 pm on March 4th, 2013 28

    That is so true! Kinda like how cab drivers are on duty. A cab driver can pick up a female soldier from Incheon, rape her and that’s okay cause hey, he was only welcoming her to the “Land of the Morning Calm”.

    Who want’s to play more “pick and choose” for ages 3+.

    A source was provided for USFK refusing to turn over a soldier. It was destroyed by a 10 second google search. Now you want to play the Osan card. That is easy. They haven’t been punished, nor have they been cleared. Unless someone can provide a source that they were cleared and allowed to PCS let’s move on to the next SOFA Amnesty claim.

  • Tom
    9:37 pm on March 4th, 2013 29

    After over seven months? Curfewviolator, they won’t ever be punished nor will they be cleared. Just like those six GI’s on the subway trying to sexually molest the Korean girl. Already there are lies that they were framed by the Korean media. Quietly these GI’s will be shipped home once their tour of duty is up, and the cases disappear into thin air over time. That’s what happens to 95% of the criminal cases involving the USFK. The only cases where there have been punishments are the cases where the Korean public keep on pressing the USFK.

  • jim
    9:42 pm on March 4th, 2013 30

    26, usfk finished their investigation back in october. they are waiting for the koreans to finish theirs before releasing it.

  • CurfewViolator
    9:54 pm on March 4th, 2013 31

    Thanks for that link. So we are waiting for the ROKs to decide want they want to do. Additionally, still tracking that the subway case is under investigation also on the ROK side. It is intriguing how that disappeared of the airwaves so quick. Really? You are just going to throw out a bullshit number of 95%. I suggest you read up on some more court martial results. They usually also list ROK criminal and civil convictions.

    Break. Ball is back in the “SOFA for Amnesty” crowd to show an incident where a servicemember committed a crime off-duty and off-post and USFK refused to hand them over in compliance with the SOFA?

  • Bobby Ray
    10:28 pm on March 4th, 2013 32

    That there private got himself shot at about 12:10am. Is taking fire from local law enforcement a usable excuse to break them curfew rules?

  • Leon LaPorte
    10:30 pm on March 4th, 2013 33

    32. It sounds like he might have made it back on post before curfew, even though he was shot. Give that boy a medal.

  • CurfewViolator
    10:55 pm on March 4th, 2013 34

    Think they got in around 0130. Can’t confirm, it is RUMINT currently going around post. Question is what they will get hammered more on. The Itaewon shennanigins or curfew.

  • Tom
    10:56 pm on March 4th, 2013 35

    Curfewviolator, my numbers are not bs. Only six percent of the criminal cases involving US soldiers get ever solved with a conviction.

  • Leon LaPorte
    11:02 pm on March 4th, 2013 36

    35. Source please.

    34. Perhaps curfew will be their excuse for the hot pursuit. :roll: :razz:

  • CurfewViolator
    11:08 pm on March 4th, 2013 37

    And how many of them are settled financially without going to court? How many are dropped because of lack of evidence? How many are turned back over for UCMJ? How many are determined by the prosecutor to drop to a lesser charge and pay a fine? Pretty sure the tally jumps from 6% to the high 90′s. Those are decisions made by the ROK prosecutors, not the USFK Command. Christsakes we have had Soldiers given the death sentence in ROK criminal courts for capitol crimes, but you people still beat the “SOFA” drum that we can rape the population with impunity and escape unscathed.

  • guitard
    11:10 pm on March 4th, 2013 38

    You don’t really expect Tom the ROK Drop 왕따 to provide a citation . . . do you?

  • CurfewViolator
    11:14 pm on March 4th, 2013 39

    36. Just more proof of bad policies. If there wouldn’t have been a curfew, they wouldn’t have been speeding.

  • MTB Rider
    11:52 pm on March 4th, 2013 40

    There are three types of Lies:
    Damned Lies
    Tom with Statistics

    Seriously, put some perspective on it. How many Koreans are arrested by the KNP who are later convicted and jailed? Then compare that number with the USFK number. Probably a lot closer than you are willing to admit on this forum.

    Personally, I hope these three assclowns get everything thrown at them. Attempted murder. Assault. Terroristic threatening. Littering. Curfew Violation. Speeding. Unsafe lane changes. Hammer them down so hard it becomes an Epic Level “Don’t Do This. EVER!”

  • Leon LaPorte
    12:02 am on March 5th, 2013 41

    40. Agreed. No one here has excused this behavior and there has been near universal condemnation. I am willing to bet the command feels the same way.

  • JoeC
    12:44 am on March 5th, 2013 42

    Not only does this incident challenge assumptions about the effectiveness of curfews and the buddy system, but if a guy was doing dumbsh!t like that with his wife in the car, it also challenges assumptions about the civilizing effect of accompanied tours.

    There is no cure for stupid!

  • CurfewViolator
    12:52 am on March 5th, 2013 43

    Spot on. Stupid policies aren’t going to fix the few retards we have. Like MTB said,these jokers need to be hammered. Then put the stuff on a poster. Cover up all those needlessly retarded human trafficking posters we have everywhere. Let Soldiers see it everyday when they drop a turd, eat at the PX and go out the gate.

    Hell even better. Bring back the gauntlet. Tell your formation that they are the reason for policies that make you suffer then have them administer punishment.

  • guitard
    1:40 am on March 5th, 2013 44

    MTB Rider wrote:

    Personally, I hope these three assclowns get everything thrown at them. Attempted murder. Assault. Terroristic threatening. Littering. Curfew Violation. Speeding. Unsafe lane changes. Hammer them down so hard it becomes an Epic Level “Don’t Do This. EVER!”

    I agree that all of them should be given the max penalty – but only for the crime(s) each committed. So for starters – let’s remember that only one guy was driving. Obviously, he is the principal. The question then: does being a passenger in a car used to try and kill someone constitute aiding and abetting or accessory to murder? Or possibly even being a joint principal?

    In order to figure any of that out, I think the court will have to determine if any of this was premeditated – and if so, was the SSG and/or his wife actively planning this out with the PFC and/or guiding the PFC along in the commission of the crime.

    It will be interesting to see how all this plays out.

  • yo ho ho
    2:44 am on March 5th, 2013 45

    #35, is it 95% or 94% don’t get convicted? You said 95% don’t get convicted, then you said 6% do get convicted.

    Now, a 5-6% conviction rate (whichever # you’re adopting) for any SJA is beyond terrible and the command group does keep track of such things. RUMINT, the numbers are at least in the double-digits!

    Your creds are null and void. And I am laughing at you. :lol:

  • Glans
    4:42 am on March 5th, 2013 46

    guitard 44 is right. Prosecute them only for what they actually did. No such baloney as – they impaired the readiness of USFK, we’re still at war with North Korea, so they’re TRAITORS!

  • Fanwarrior
    6:13 am on March 5th, 2013 47

    #38, #45, etc

  • jim
    6:41 am on March 5th, 2013 48

    44, premeditated stupidity?

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    7:42 am on March 5th, 2013 49

    Just so everyone knows I have provided an update to this story above.

  • Tom
    9:01 am on March 5th, 2013 50

    Regarding the seven MP’s who are charged with assaulting a South Korean citzen, the reason why South Korean investigation is delayed, is because of the delaying tactics of the USFK who refuse to cooperate and allow full access interviews to those who are charged. After seven months, the investigation is starting to fade. Are they even in the country anymore?

    As for the figure that will back up my 6% indictment rate, it’s right here.

    “It is uncertain whether the police will be able to hold them accountable for the crimes given past record. According to data from the prosecutors’ office, 6.1 percent of 344 crimes alleged against U.S. servicemen here were indicted in 2011.”

  • Flunky Brewster
    3:05 pm on March 5th, 2013 51

    Tom, do you write for the Korea Times or do you just swallow any nonsense the Korea Times makes up? You’ve been warned about believing everything you read on the internet. The best use for the Korea Times is as a bird cage liner.

  • jim
    6:20 pm on March 5th, 2013 52

    51, tom has obviously no clue about any part of the legal system. i could allege someone did something a hundred times, and only once was it able to be proved. that is a 1% indictment rate.

  • jim
    6:27 pm on March 5th, 2013 53

    clarification for tom: *enough evidence to proceed to trial*

  • yo ho ho
    8:46 pm on March 5th, 2013 54

    Not all of the 344 crimes rise to court-martial level. There are several means to dispose of a case, with GCM being one method.

    BL is the command is duty bound to ensure the good order and discipline of their formations. This doesn’t mean that every curfew violator is going straight to GCM. Means that for every founded offense with a known offender, the hammer will fall one way or another. Commanders/CMD teams that refuse to drop the hammer, are apt to find themselves relieved by their higher authority.

  • ymc
    9:52 pm on April 2nd, 2013 55

    SOFA should be renewed until USFK stops selectively hand over alleged suspects to ROK police. Who wrote this article? I am pretty sure there is no imminent war near future watching USFK disorderly incidents by USFK servicde members on pass or else. Second to none.

  • tbonetylr
    8:08 pm on April 4th, 2013 56

    @ 55,
    “SOFA should be renewed because…Selectively hand over”

    By who? It appears Korea selected to ask for Lopez and now USFK will “hand over,” what’s the problem?

    ‘Ministry asks USFK for custody of BB gun soldier’|home|newslist1
    “The Ministry of Justice yesterday requested the United States Army in Korea hand over custody of a U.S. soldier accused of shooting a BB gun at civilians in Itaewon, central Seoul, on March 2, and being involved in a high-speed car chase that resulted in the police shooting one of the soldiers.

    The jurisdiction request for the soldier, a 26-year-old staff sergeant surnamed Lopez, follows an arrest warrant issued by the Seoul Central District Court Wednesday, which said the suspect “may destroy evidence or flee” to avoid legal punishment without detention.
    With the arrest warrant granted by the court, it was the Justice Ministry’s job to ask the U.S. military to hand over the suspect, which the ministry did yesterday, marking the first time the authorities have asked the USFK to relinquish the jurisdiction over a U.S. soldier implicated in a general crime.

    There are 12 other crimes classified as serious, including murder and rape, where the Korean authorities have requested custody of a soldier in the event a soldier is suspected of one of these crimes.
    “We filed a custody request to the U.S. Forces Korea [USFK] and expect the request will be accepted given the current circumstances [that back the soldier’s illegal acts],” said an official at the Justice Ministry, speaking on condition of anonymity.”


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