A member of US President Joe Biden’s security team has been arrested in Seoul for allegedly assaulting a South Korean national while intoxicated a day before the White House leader’s visit.
Reuters quoted a police officer in Seoul’s Yongsan district on May 20 as saying that the US security guard was arrested on the morning of May 19 after he was involved in a dispute over a taxi. The incident happened in front of the Grand Hyatt Hotel, where President Biden is expected to stay during his trip to South Korea.
The Seoul police officer did not reveal the identity or any other information about the suspect. However, the Chosun TV channel, the first Korean news agency to report on the incident, revealed that the suspect, in his 30s, was arrested after a guest at the same hotel called the police.
The US Department of Homeland Security did not respond to a request for comment on the case. While the White House was referencing questions to the US Secret Service.
The US Secret Service is part of the Department of Homeland Security and is an agency dedicated to protecting the President. According to Reuters, members of the US Secret Service have occasionally been implicated in scandals of misconduct abroad.
According to NBC, Anthony Guglielmi, a US Secret Service spokesman, said in a statement: “The Secret Service is aware of an off-duty incident involving two employees that may constitute a violation of policy. Individuals must surrender immediately and be sentenced to duty and farewell.”
President Biden arrived in Seoul on the evening of May 20, and South Korea was the first stop on his first trip to Asia as US leader.