Arrest Park Yen-chaPark Yen-cha, the chairman of Tae Kwang Industry and a major financial sponsor for President Roh Moo-hyun, was involved in a drunken brawl on a domestic plane, but the police were more interested in a cover-up.
Park, a business tycoon from the Busan region, should have known better. His embarrassing behavior at Gimhae International Airport was pitiful and disgusting. Even a child knows that you have to put your seat in an upright position before takeoff.
But Park refused to comply, and he swore at a flight attendant. His idiotic actions delayed the flight by an hour.
The reaction of airport staff was dismal. They led the offender to its VIP lounge and tried hard to flatter him, while the police handed out lame excuses that it’s difficult to charge Park because no one actually filed a complaint with them about what happened.
The 120 other passengers on that plane had to sit through this ugly fiasco early that morning and their schedules were severely disrupted.
If they are not victims, who is?
Since 2002 the police have applied stricter regulations concerning drunk passengers and the use of cell phones and smoking on flights. A new airport security law has given the police the authority to press charges against passengers discovered smoking in the restrooms or using cell phones during flights.
But on this occasion the police let Park off the hook, even though he screamed at the flight attendants and ripped up a written warning that was issued to him.
When public opinion eventually turned negative after news of the incident leaked out, the police changed their mind, and only then suggested that an investigation should take place.
If the police adopt double standards when dealing with offenders, how are they going to deal with similar incidents? And will offenders listen to the police, knowing that others get preferential treatment?
The police should arrest Park immediately and press charges. They should reprimand the police officers stationed at the airport for not carrying out their duties and for making the police to look irresponsible.
They should guarantee that such a ridiculous situation never arises again.