- Controversy rises over the privacy issue of revealing their mug shots, full names, video footage as well as over the reasonableness of misdemeanor charge
A Korean married couple were arrested in Guam, Oct. 2, Monday, and charged with leaving their two children unattended in a car in the sweltering heat while they were shopping.
The children, aged 6 and 1, were found on Monday afternoon "slumped forward" in the car parked near a shopping center. The engine was off and the windows of the vehicle locked.
Two women passing by the car noticed the children seated in the back seat and called authorities to the Tamuning store about 2:30 p.m after failing to find their parents.
At about 3 p.m, police worked on “wedging the door open, while police continued to try and wake the children, both of whom had sweat streaming from their faces,” according to local media.
The two kids reportedly didn’t have any injuries.
By about 3:15 p.m., parents appeared rushing toward the police, claiming that "we were only in the store for three minutes," which turned out to be a lie.
The young elite couple identified as Sangwoo Yoon, 38, lawyer and Jungeun Sul, 35, judge in Korea were each charged with two misdemeanor counts of child abuse and one count of leaving children unattended in a motor vehicle, as a petty misdemeanor on Oct. 3, one day after it happened.
|Captured from KUAM News Facebook|
The two were released from jail after depositing bail of $2,000 each. They will stand trial on Oct. 25.
Meanwhile, Kuam News, Guam’s local media revealed the couple’s mug shots, names, and video footage showing the couple rushing to the police. It stirs controversy over privacy and defamation issues. It is also controversial whether the misdemeanor charge is reasonable for the case.
|Captured from KUAM News facebook|
Here are some of the diverse Facebook page comments of KUAM News, the Guam’s local media which first covered the case.
“How is risking a child's life only a misdemeanor?”
“Senators should probably amend this law from misdemeanor to felony. Reminder that police officers don’t make the laws, it’s the senators. Thank God these kids are okay.”
“Child care and standards are vastly different in Korea compared to the US. It's not that they don't care or are totally ignorant, just different priority and cultural norms. Still doesn't excuse what happened”
“ I'm really kind of confused there was an incident sometimes last month when a toddler was left in the car while the mother was shopping at the premium outlets but the cops didn't arrest her is it because she's local.....I don't know.”
“ Put a sign outside the store in different languages to remind parents that it's a criminal to leaves children in car unattended. It might work”
“Can the visitors authority work with tour agencies to spread awareness of this? I mean it is common sense but apparently people don't see the harm in leaving their children unattended.
“…It is very ironic how Korean media covers this story. The Korean media article reads that the parents told the police the children were left in the car for three minutes and the children were sweating profusely but unharmed. The parents' names were not even revealed. Apparently the parents may lack common sense but still have powers in Korea.”
“It's not because they have powers in Korea, but because of the stupidity of Korean law which protects the privacy information of criminals. Human rights in S. Korea do not protect the safety of their citizens, but instead it protects even the worst criminals in the history, so no one will be able to identify who they are.”
“Really highly educated!!! And no common dam sense ! And why do people always seem to tell authorities they hold some kind of high position or they are important when they do stupid dumb things like this with there kids - they are just plain lazy to wake them up to bring them inside to shop - they should not receive any sympathy and let's hope this teaches them a lesson.”
“Curious, is this common in their country? Is it considered normal?”
Song Jung-hee firstname.lastname@example.org