According to the Dongjak Police Station, a 21-year-old man and his two male friends got into a physical fight with a 23-year-old woman and her female friend around 4 a.m. Tuesday. The two parties were sitting at different tables, police said.
All five have been taken into custody and are undergoing interrogation, police said Thursday.
Dispatch received a call at 4:22 a.m. Tuesday about “two women getting attacked by four men” at the bar. Emergency medics said they rushed one of the female victims to the nearest hospital for treatment of head injuries she sustained during the incident.
The suspects have not given official statements yet, but they reportedly gave conflicting accounts of the assault at the station Tuesday. Police said they released them for now and plan to call them back in for further questioning after reviewing CCTV footage and additional witness reports.
The men said the women picked the fight, adding that they had asked the women multiple times to “keep it down a little.” One of the men also said his clothes were torn in the altercation and that the women had started filming without their consent.
The women, on the other hand, claimed to have gotten into a fight with a different group of bar customers and that the “men, for no reason, started beating them” and filmed them as well, according to police.
Meanwhile, one of the women, claiming to be an assault victim from the Isu Station incident, posted an online petition on the Cheong Wa Dae website Wednesday, calling for an end to men’s hate toward women.
The petitioner requested that the identities of the assailants be revealed to the public and that proper punishment be handed down by the court if the case gets sent to prosecution.
She also criticized the way police handled the case, saying “the victims and assailants were put in one (interrogation) room, creating a threatening atmosphere for the victims.”
Around 319,881 Koreans had signed the petition as of 3 p.m. Thursday. The presidential office is required to issue a formal response if an online petition garners more than 200,000 signatures in a month.
By Catherine Chung (firstname.lastname@example.org)