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U.S. Army mechanic nabbed for wielding knife against S. Korean

A mechanic working at the U.S. Army in South Korea was arrested for threatening a South Korean citizen with a knife, police here said Saturday.

A 48-year-old aircraft maintenance crew from the 8th U.S. Army, identified only by the initial J, allegedly threatened a 42-year-old South Korean citizen, known as Choi, with a knife the previous day while having a dispute over a near accident involving their cars on a street in Pyeongtaek, some 70 kilometers south of Seoul.

He has been handed over to the U.S. military police to face investigation.

The U.S. employee is also suspected of scratching Choi's car twice with the knife when Choi was trying to escape from the threat, according to the Pyeongtaek Police Station.

Unable to retreat, Choi threatened J with a rock he had picked up and lied, saying he was a police officer, the station said. Upon hearing this, J fled but was soon caught by actual police officers. 

The man, known as a Korean-American, was not intoxicated at the time, and admitted his wrongdoings upon his arrest, according to the investigators.

The suspect is in charge of maintaining helicopters for the U.S. Army as a contract worker and has been affiliated with the Army for the past 16 years, they added.

Concerns have grown from the South Korean public over crimes committed by the U.S. soldiers here, particularly after a group of American soldiers were accused earlier this week of firing a BB gun into a crowded district in Seoul that led to a high-speed police car chase. (Yonhap News)

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