Female lawmaker attacked in Seoul; 15-y/o arrested

January 26, 2024, 2:55 pm

<p>Rep. Bae Hyun-jin <em>(Yonhap file photo)</em></p>

Rep. Bae Hyun-jin (Yonhap file photo)

SEOUL – People Power Party lawmaker Rep. Bae Hyun-jin sustained a head injury after she was hit in the head with a rock Thursday by a 15-year-old male, her office said.

The incident happened around 5 p.m. in the southern Seoul district of Gangnam.

According to Bae's aide, a male pedestrian walked up to Bae and asked, "Are you the lawmaker Bae Hyun-jin?" and struck her in the back of the head with a rock the size of an adult man's fist.

Bae was transported to Soonchunhyang University Hospital with her head bleeding. Bae remained conscious and her injury is not believed to be life-threatening.

The suspect was momentarily arrested by police in Gangnam and claimed to officers that he is 15-years-old.

Bae, 40, is a former television news anchor who was elected to her first term in the National Assembly in 2020. She briefly served as a spokesperson for then-President-elect Yoon Suk Yeol in 2022.

CCTV footage provided by Bae's office showed that the suspect struck the lawmaker 15 times with the rock within a span of some 10 seconds until nearby witnesses physically engaged the suspect.

Footage showed that the suspect, who wore a mask and a beanie while dressed in a hoodie, remained at the scene, observing the lawmaker until Bae's aides apprehended him. He was later handed over to police.

Dr. Park Sukh-que, a neurosurgeon who treated Bae at Soonchunhyang, said the lawmaker was in stable condition after getting her wound stapled.

The attack on Bae comes some three weeks after Lee Jae-myung, leader of the opposition Democratic Party (DP), was stabbed in the neck during a visit to the southeastern city of Busan. (Yonhap)