Cops let neighbor stab three women
Two police officers face an internal investigation after leaving the scene of a crime as three women were brutally attacked by a neighbor.
A male and female police officer were dispatched to a four-story apartment building in Namdong district, eastern Incheon, after receiving a noise complaint about a 48-year-old man on the top floor from a male resident on the third floor. The upstairs neighbor was also demonstrating threatening behavior, the man said.
While the male officer brought the third-floor resident down to the first floor to ask him questions about his neighbor’s behavior, the fourth-floor resident came downstairs brandishing a knife and attacked his neighbor’s family, which included his wife and his two adult daughters.
The female officer was on the third floor at the time talking to the wife. She fled downstairs. The male officer on the first floor did not go back upstairs to investigate. Instead, he called for back-up.
The wife is reported to be brain-dead and unlikely to recover from the attack. The daughters suffered cuts on their hands and faces.
The police officers now face an internal probe from the Incheon Metropolitan Police Agency for alleged dereliction of duty.
By leaving the crime scene just as the knife attack occurred, the police officers are accused of allowing serious injury to befall the third-floor family and for failing to properly respond to the crime.
In a telephone interview with the JoongAng Ilbo on Sunday, relatives of the family that was attacked said they met with the female police officer on Wednesday at the Seochang patrol division of the Nonhyeon police station in Incheon to ask why she left the family to fend for themselves.
When asked if she safely separated the perpetrator and the victim, the police officer said she had, sending the perpetrator to the fourth floor. He went upstairs without resistance, she said.
The female officer questioned the wife, and she felt as if the assailant was watching from above. She told him to remain on the fourth floor.
But suddenly the fourth-floor resident came down the stairs, pushed her aside, and committed the crime.
According to the victim’s family, the female police officer said she thought to herself, “This is a matter of life and death,” and her first instinct was to make an emergency request for assistance.
“I saw the victim being stabbed. I was trained that medical care for the victim comes first in this situation, so I went down to the first floor to make an emergency request.”
She added, "I thought this was the best response.”
She said that it was the first time she had experienced such a scene and had momentarily gone into shock.
Kim Chang-ryong, chief of the National Police Agency, apologized Sunday for the police officers’ failure to protect the victims from their assailant.
BY MICHAEL LEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]