Man breaks into home of Chung Yoo-ra, stabs bodyguardA 44-year-old man was arrested for trying to rob the home of Chung Yoo-ra, the daughter of former President Park Geun-hye’s confidante, Choi Soon-sil, on Saturday in Gangnam District, southern Seoul.
Chung was not injured, but her bodyguard, whom police identified as a worker for Widek Sports, a shell company that Choi created in Germany, was stabbed several times by the burglar with a knife. He received medical treatment at a hospital and was discharged around noon on Sunday.
The suspect, surnamed Lee, said he knew it was Chung’s home because he had searched the address on the internet and planned the burglary for at least a week.
Lee, who is jobless and lives in Gwanak District, southern Seoul, said he acted alone in order to pay off about 24 million won ($22,000) in credit card debt and assumed Chung, whose mother is on trial for taking bribes on behalf of President Park, would have an abundant supply of cash in her home.
The Gangnam police asked prosecutors on Sunday to file a pretrial detention warrant for him on charges of physical assault and robbery.
The burglary attempt occurred at around 3 p.m. on Saturday. Lee, according to police, disguised himself as a mail courier and approached Chung’s residence in the affluent neighborhood of Sinsa-dong. Police said he threatened the building’s security guard with a knife and forced him to escort Lee up to Chung’s apartment on the sixth floor.
After the security guard rang the doorbell, the babysitter of Chung’s 2-year-old son answered the door, seeing the security guard’s face through the front door’s camera.
Lee then threatened the babysitter with his knife and screamed, “Come out, Chung Yoo-ra!”
Chung’s bodyguard, who was with her on the upper floor, came down and tried to tackle Lee, police said, and was stabbed in his waist and back during the scuffle.
Police received a call at 3:05 p.m. about someone breaking into Chung’s apartment and arrived at 3:18 p.m. Lee was arrested on the spot.
Chung’s bodyguard was immediately transferred to Hanyang University Medical Center in Seongdong District, eastern Seoul, for a surgery. Chung was questioned by police while she waited outside the emergency room.
Police said the bodyguard had been with Chung when she escaped to Denmark last year following revelations of her mother’s nefarious connection to President Park. Chung refused a request by the National Assembly to attend a hearing about the bribery scandal involving Choi and Park.
Police are planning to comb through Lee’s house today for evidence of any other intentions.
BY LEE HYUN, HA JUN-HO [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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