The Uijeongbu mayor boycotted a friendship concert at Camp Red Cloud last week after a 2nd Infantry Division soldier allegedly assaulted a taxi driver.
A second incident further exacerbated simmering resentment among local residents at what they see as a never-ending string of crimes by American soldiers, said a spokesman for Mayor Ahn Byung Yong.
2ID commander Maj. Gen. Thomas Vandal apologized in writing and in a telephone conversation with Ahn. Brig. Gen. Richard Kim, assistant division commander for maneuver, met with the mayor.
The soldier, identified by Uijeongbu police as a sergeant, is suspected of assaulting a taxi driver shortly after midnight on Sept. 2 on a road near the base’s back gate. The driver was taken to a hospital after losing control and running onto a curb. No information on his injuries was available.
After the incident, the soldier entered the base but was later questioned by South Korean police. Their investigation is ongoing; no charges have been filed.
The incident prompted Ahn to skip a Sept. 3 “One Mind Concert” at CRC hosted by 2ID and Gyeonggi province for the local Korean and U.S. military communities. South Korea’s Yonhap News reported that a ruling party lawmaker and other officials also stayed away.
The city spokesperson, said Ahn declined to attend because he was unhappy about misbehavior by U.S. Forces Korea personnel in general, not just the alleged assault on the taxi driver. But the soldier’s claims that he couldn’t remember what happened made the public and the mayor unhappy, he said.
The Crossroads of Special Operations