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Man detained for beating wife

Vietnamese victim filmed brutal attack in front of their son
July 09,2019
이미지뷰
Left, a 36-year-old man leaves a local court on Monday after attending a hearing about the issuing of his pre-trial detention warrant. The man was arrested in Yeongam County, South Jeolla, on charges of beating his Vietnamese wife last Thursday. Right, the man is shown punching his wife in a video she filmed without his knowledge. [YONHAP, NEWS1]
A local court issued a pre-trial detention warrant for a 36-year-old Korean man on Monday after a video of him beating his Vietnamese wife in front of their 2-year-old child went viral on the internet last week.

The court said the suspect faced allegations of physically abusing the Vietnamese national with “a blunt instrument,” adding there was also fear he may try to flee.

The suspect told reporters as he was entering the court in Mokpo, South Jeolla, that he “harbored [bad] feelings” toward his wife due to “a communication barrier.” Asked for a final comment, he said, “I have nothing to say but sorry.”

Police said the suspect admitted to hitting his wife and, at one point, using a plastic bottle to assault her under the influence of alcohol. But the husband was said to have denied accusations he hit her with a glass soju bottle, as the victim claims.

Based on claims from the victim, police said the case occurred last Thursday at the couple’s home in Yeongam County, South Jeolla, about 310 kilometers (192 miles) south of Seoul, at 9 p.m. The Vietnamese wife said she was punched and kicked by her husband for over three hours for not listening to him and speaking in poor Korean.

It wasn’t the first time the suspect beat her. That day, she decided to record it on her cellphone. She turned on her camera, secretly placed it inside her son’s backpack and positioned the bag across from a bed, a place she thought would capture her being attacked.

She showed the video to her friend, who decided to call the police on Friday morning and hand over the video clip. Police officers went to the victim’s house the same day and escorted her and her son to a local shelter for female immigrants. Police asked the Korean husband, who wasn’t at the house by the time they arrived, to appear for questioning, but he didn’t.

The victim’s friend uploaded the video on Facebook on Saturday, and the suspect eventually turned himself in that evening as the video started spreading online. Police arrested the suspect as soon he showed up to the police station.

In the video, which runs for about two and a half minutes, the husband is seen punching his wife’s head and ribs, and kicking her as she was slouched on the floor. He was also shown hurling expletives at her and yelling in Korean, “I told you not to cook, did I not?” and “This isn’t Vietnam. The chicken is coming. I told you to eat chicken, did I not?”

Their 2-year-old son is seen wailing “mommy” in Korean beside the victim in diapers, yet the suspect did not stop beating her.

When the victim later went to a nearby hospital, doctors said she had a broken rib and that she would have to receive medical treatment for four weeks. Police said the victim is currently taking care of her son at the hospital.

BY KIM JUN-HEE, LEE SUNG-EUN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]