Thursday, April 3, 2008

President Steps in !

[Picture Courtesy of Reuters]


WHEN South Korea's police reacted slowly to the brutal assault of a 10-year-old girl, the country's top leader stepped in.

Not only did President Lee Myung-bak take time off his duties to go to the police station, he also rebuked them in person, an almost unheard of rap on the knuckles.
'Use your common sense,' Mr Lee told the police, reported Joong Ang Daily.
'Handling a case involving a young girl as a misdemeanour assault is nothing more than an effort to close it without making any effort.'

The provincial police chief, Mr Kim Do-sik, issued a public apology on Monday in a hastily called news conference and about 170 police officers were later assigned to the case.
A 41-year-old suspect was nabbed in a sauna in southern Seoul that same evening. He is a rapist who was released from prison two years ago after being convicted of repeat
offences, police said.

He allegedly punched and kicked a third-grade girl last Wednesday, and tried to drag her out of the lift of her apartment building. He reportedly fled only when a neighbour arrived. Although the girl's father reported the case 10 minutes later, the local police branch only informed higher authorities the next day. Although witnesses and the surveillance footage showed the man was holding a weapon, the initial police report left out that information, police said.

The case was initially categorised as misbehaviour towards a child by a drunken man.

Police also obtained a fingerprint believed to belong to the suspect, but waited two days to send the evidence to the crime lab. They didn't get a positive identification, so they told the girl's parents there was nothing they could do. Five days after the incident and with little progress made in the investigation, the girl's parents and neighbours distributed fliers with the suspect's image, as captured by the surveillance camera. They also informed the local TV network, which first reported the alleged police blunders on Sunday.

No comments: