A man in his 30s was apprehended by the police on Thursday, August 17, for assaulting and raping a woman on a hiking trail in Seoul.
The suspect, identified as Choi, has confessed to the allegations of attacking a woman in her 30s in a park near Gwanaksan at around 11:40 am (KST) on Thursday. He attacked her with brass knuckles and sexually assaulted her in broad daylight. Hikers heard the victim’s screams and called the police at 11:45 am. The police arrived and apprehended him in the act at 12:10 pm.
The woman was immediately transported to a hospital. She remains unconscious and in critical condition.
Under police custody, Choi initially claimed that the victim had tripped on a branch but later admitted that he “wore brass knuckles on both hands” while assaulting her. He also admitted to the rape charges. The officials quoted him as saying, “I committed the crime because I wanted to rape.”
The police reported that the suspect had left his residence in Doksan-dong at around 9:55 am that day and walked to the crime scene in Sillim. They suspect that Choi had prepared for the crime beforehand, including target searching, given that he had arrived at the park’s entrance nearly 40 minutes before the crime.
Choi attacked the victim on a hillside, away from the walking path. The officials quoted him saying, “I chose the place for a crime because I went there often and knew it has no CCTV cameras.”
Choi has no relevant previous offenses, but he has a record of a suspended indictment for desertion from military service. Initially, the authorities suspected that he was under the influence, but his alcohol and drug tests came back negative. Police plan to seek an arrest warrant later Friday to formally arrest the suspect for further investigation. His call and medical records are currently under probe to determine whether he has a history of mental illness.
This shocking incident has added to the ongoing anxiety among Seoul citizens, who have been bombarded with threats of heinous crimes after a man went on a deadly rampage near Silim station with a knife, resulting in the death of one person a month ago.