Eight Charged in Death of Chinatown Soldier Danny Chen
On October 3, 19-year-old Private Danny Chen was found dead in an Afghanistan guard tower with an apparent gunshot wound to the head. All along, his hometown community in Chinatown and the Lower East Side doubted reports of the alleged cause of death – suicide. Thanks in part to grassroots efforts gone national, like last week’s vigil for transparency and the actions of local politicians, justice is finally being served.
It was announced today that eight fellow soldiers are charged with crimes ranging from negligent homicide to making false statements about Chen’s death.
Five of the soliders involved — Staff Sgt. Andrew J. Van Bockel, Sgt. Adam M. Holcomb, Sgt. Jeffrey T. Hurst, Spc. Thomas P. Curtis and Spc. Ryan J. Offutt — are charged with involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide, among other charges, according to the military.
In addition, First Lt. Daniel J. Schwartz is charged with eight counts of dereliction of duty, Staff Sgt. Blaine G. Dugas is charged with four counts of dereliction of duty and one count of making a false statement, and Sgt. Travis F. Carden is charged with two counts of maltreatment and one count of assault, the military said.