South Korean Olympic Dressage Rider Kim Dongseon Arrested in Seoul Bar Brawl
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SEOUL, Jan. 9, 2016–Kim Dongseon, the son of a prominent businessman and who rode Bukowski for South Korea in last summer’s Olympic Games was arrested after a bar brawl in what The Wall Street Journal said “renewed public concern over the nation’s corporate elite at a time of heightened scrutiny of their companies’ business practices.”
The 27-year-old son of the chairman of Hanwha Group, one of South Korea’s largest conglomerates, was detained on Saturday after what police said was a drunken rampage in a bar in Seoul’s upscale Gangnam district two days earlier. Police also said that while being transported to the police station, the handcuffed man also ripped a car seat and kicked and broke a car door frame.
The arrest came after President Park Geun-hye was impeached last month amid an influence-peddling scandal that involved conglomerates, which dominate the country’s economy. The case brought millions of protesters to the streets and sparked legislative hearings into the conglomerates that may lead to new curbs on their activities.
On Monday, prosecutors summoned two senior Samsung officials for questioning on a related probe into whether it received favors in exchange for donations to government entities that also allegedly included money to support the dressage pursuits of Chung Yoo-ra, daughter of the confidante at the center of the presidential impeachment scandal. She has been based in Germany and was detained in Denmark in connection with the probes.
Both Kim Dongseon and Chung Yoo-ra were members of South Korea’s dressage team that won gold at the 2014 Asian Games. Kim also competed Bukowski at the 2014 World Games in Normandy.
Kim Deongson, a political science graduate of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and who has competed extensively in the United States in the past decade, was involved in a lawsuit in Florida in 2013 over the purchase of Bukowski.
The suit was filed by Wellington, Florida-based Lena Wedenmark against the rider complaining that he failed to pay a commission on his purchase of Bukowski for €1,325,000 ((US$1,775,000 at the time) nine months before the 2012 London Games, according to a dressage-news.com report at the time.
The suit claimed that Bukowski was located by Lena on behalf of Kim at the barn of Anders Dahl, the Danish trainer based in England. According to the filing, Kim agreed verbally to the industry standard 10 per cent commission but failed to pay the amount of €132,500 (US$177,400).
“The misbehavior of the scions of these companies, known as chaebols, only added to misgivings over their perceived arrogance and fed sentiment that South Korea’s economy is rigged in favor of the elite,” the Journal reported Monday.
The newspaper recounted numerous incidents involving the families, including the conviction in 2008 of Kim’s father after assaulting bar workers with a steel pipe after his second son had been embroiled in a fight. He was pardoned for that incident but was convicted again in 2012 for embezzlement.