Security forces are alleged to have been involved in a drunken attack in South Korea
The two U.S. Secret Service agents tasked with helping prepare for President Joe Biden’s visit to South Korea were sent home before the commander-in-chief arrived, after allegations they were involved in a drunken brawl.
Two agents were reportedly bar-hopping in Seoul early Thursday morning when one of them assaulted a taxi driver outside the Grand Hyatt Hotel, where Biden was supposed to be. South Korean police told Reuters an agent had been arrested, but an unnamed U.S. official said he had only been arrested. “Investigated.”
“The Secret Service is aware of an off-duty incident involving two employees that could constitute a potential policy violation.” The agency’s spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement. “Individuals will be immediately returned to their duties and placed on administrative leave. The upcoming tour has not had any effect. ”
According to local media reports, a co-guest at the hotel called police to report the altercation. The two men, identified only as a special agent and a security expert, were part of Biden’s advance team. The U.S. president was reportedly sent home on Friday, shortly before arriving in Seoul for a five-day trip to Asia.
There is no indication in the media report as to how the quarrel with the taxi driver started. CBS News says the Secret Service will investigate whether the two agents were drunk at the time of the incident instead of investigating the alleged attack.
“We have very strict protocols and policies for all our employees and we hold ourselves to the highest professional standards.” Dr. Guglielmi. “This is a matter for active administrative staff. We are no longer in a position to comment.”
This is not the first scandal involving the Secret Service, which is responsible for protecting current and former U.S. leaders and their families. In 2014, three agents who were helping prepare for President Barack Obama’s visit to Amsterdam were sent back to the United States after a night of drinking. An agent was found passing out in the hallway of his hotel.
In 2012, 11 Secret Service agents were sent home from Colombia to investigate “Misconduct,” With requests from drunken parties and prostitutes. Agents were hired to ensure Obama’s safety at the US summit in Cartagena. The incident comes to light when a prostitute refuses to leave an agent’s hotel room after a dispute over payment for her services.