An American diplomat in Seoul fled the scene after a suspected hit-and-run incident and is now hiding from police at a US military base, South Korean law enforcement officials said.
An anonymous member of the US diplomatic mission allegedly was behind the wheel of a car that collided with a taxi in the center of the Korean capital on Wednesday.
The crash is She said happened while the vehicle was changing lanes, damaging the rear bumper of the cabin.
The incident was mild, but the diplomat didn’t stop to address it. Instead, he pressed the gas and tried to escape the scene, causing a chase.
The taxi driver followed him to Yongsan Garrison, an American military and diplomatic facility in Seoul. The police also arrived there, but the diplomat and his three passengers refused to cooperate with the officers.
The Americans refused to undergo an alcohol test and drove inside the base, which is off-limits to Korean law enforcement. The police were also unable to detain the US mission member outside the facility due to his diplomatic immunity.
The suspect has since holed up at Yongsan Garrison. To reach him, the police sent a request to the US embassy, asking for cooperation. “We plan to decide on the allegations after seeing the US diplomat’s statement,” the police said.
The incident appears to be yet another example of outrageous conduct by foreign diplomats and their family members in Korea in recent months.
Earlier this month, the husband of a Dutch diplomat launched a police investigation after lightly hitting a Korean man with his car during an argument over a parking lot.
In June, Belgium had to recall its ambassador Peter Lescouhier from the country for his wife’s violent behavior. The woman was first filmed slapping a shopkeeper and later got into a fight with a street cleaner after his broom accidentally touched her.
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