By Joe Anuta
A Whitestone couple who believed a family member was suffering from drug addiction and mental illness bound their kin’s leg so tightly with duct tape it had to be amputated by doctors, the Queens district attorney said.
Myung Chung, 27, and her fiancée, Sung-Peel Youn, 39, were charged with reckless endangerment, unlawful imprisonment and multiple counts of assault after police said they bound and gagged Chung’s brother inside 17-24 Parsons Blvd. and kept him there for more than a week before he was seen by a doctor, according to a criminal complaint filed by the DA. His black, swollen leg was removed above the knee, the office said.
Neighbors said the couple’s Parsons Boulevard home often hosted large groups of people who were constantly coming in and out of the residence, sometimes with folding chairs.
The Korea Times reported that Chung and Youn were part of a religious organization that was housed at the residence, and that the group played a role in prescribing the duct-tape treatment to Chung’s brother.
Youn told police he and his bride-to-be tied up his brother-in-law, Seungick Chung, in order to help him recover from drug addiction and mental illness, according to the complaint.
On the morning of Oct. 4, the pair bound his wrists, ankles and knees with duct tape, and then stuffed a sock in the man’s mouth, securing it with more duct tape, the complaint said.
Two days later, Chung noticed her brother’s foot was swollen, and by Oct. 10 it had turned dark in color and her brother was complaining of pain, the complaint said.
On Oct. 12, Chung and Youn took the man to a dermatologist who referred them to the emergency room.
Dr. Anjali Bharati, an emergency room doctor at New York Hospital Queens, told police that Chung’s brother arrived at her facility with dried blood in his mouth and abrasions to his face, wrists, torso, knees and ankles, the complaint said.
Her brother’s leg was also swollen and purple and black and blue in color, which Bharati told police is consistent with a lack of blood circulation, a process crucial to keep cells alive.
Dr. Andy Lee, a vascular surgeon at NYHQ, told police the leg of Chung’s brother was lopped off above the knee as a result of his injuries sustained on Parson Boulevard, according to the complaint.
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.