Police: Two Korean brothers tried covering up assault
Two Penn State Altoona students from Korea face a laundry list of charges after an alleged honor beating and subsequent attempt to cover it up from campus police.
Bong Woo Che, 22, and Bong Jo Che, 20, both of Korea are accused of getting other Korean students to lie about an alleged assault Jan. 26 in a Cedar Hall dorm room. Bong Woo Che, according to Penn State Altoona police, is accused of assaulting a younger Korean student because the student had offended and disrespected him by not telling Bong Woo Che he was leaving the Adler Gymnasium where they had gone to work out.
Korean custom dictates that since Bong Woo Che was an older male, the younger student had disrespected Bong Woo Che by not addressing him at the gym when he left, a slight that angered Bong Woo Che to the point he walked to Cedar Hall to confront the alleged victim.
There the two argued before bong Woo Che allegedly assaulted the other student.
Police said the alleged victim said he was struck in the throat, face, back and stomach and was dragged by his hair, and after the attack was left with a ringing left ear. When the alleged victim told Bong Woo Che he wanted to seek medical attention and was going to call the police or tell his parents what occurred, Bong Woo Che called his brother, Bong Jo Che, to come to the room.
The alleged victim told police the brothers held him in the room for hours as they attempted to persuade and threatened him not to report the assault. Police said Bong Woo Che threatened to have the younger student and his Korean family killed if he told anyone about the incident.
Police said the brothers then told two other Korean students who allegedly witnessed the assault to lie to police and say the fight was mutual. Police said the two students did lie to police about the incident but later recanted after they saw the extent of the alleged victim’s injuries. The two said they lied because they were scared of Bong Woo Che.
When questioned, Bong Woo Che allegedly told police said the argument was more than about Korean custom and disrespect. Bong Woo Che told investigators the alleged victim stood up and got close to him, something he found “very offensive,” police noted in the charges.
Bong Woo Che allegedly admitted to investigators that he hit the alleged victim about 10 times but denied threatening to kill him or his family. The alleged victim, Bong Woo Che told police, had defended himself and kicked him.
Bong Woo Che, police noted, is the president of the Asian Services Club on campus and told officers that in his culture, when a younger man talks to an older male, no matter what the age difference, it is like when a student talks to a principal and that younger males had to show respect.
Police contend that as the investigation into the assault commenced, the brothers continued to attempt to sway the witnesses in the case, asked them why they told the truth to police and quizzed them about what the police were doing about it.
Both brothers remain free on unsecured bail pending a preliminary hearing Wednesday at Central Court.
Mirror Staff Writer Greg Bock is at 946-7458.