Chen Family Reveals Some Of The Horrible Abuses Allegedly Inflicted On Army Private Son

19-Year-Old Dragged Over Gravel, Pelted With Rocks, Just Part Of Army's Probe

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The family of a young Army private from Manhattan are learning disturbing details in his death investigation.

Private Danny Chen’s parents say their 19-year-old son was allegedly bullied to death by fellow soldiers in Afghanistan.

Chen’s mother and father spent part of Thursday listening to Organization of Chinese Americans President Elizabeth OuYang recite details of alleged abuses Army investigators told the family about in a private meeting Wednesday at Fort Hamilton, in Brooklyn.

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They were told about the alleged bullying that may have pushed their son, Pvt. Danny Chen, to suicide at his post in Afghanistan.

“He had bruises and cuts all over his back,” OuYang said.

The family said Army generals told them those wounds came after a sergeant dragged Chen across 50 meters of gravel. The Army said that on the day of his death, Chen was made to crawl across that gravel again, wearing full gear in the heat.

“While some of the suspects threw rocks at him,” OuYang added.

The Army told the family a platoon sergeant and platoon leader knew about stones being thrown at Chen but did nothing about it. They were also charged.

About a half hour after the incident, there was a gunshot. Chen’s body was found in the guard tower, his rifle next to him. The Army told the family this came after nearly two months of constant abuse. An Army spokeswoman would only confirm the meeting with the family, but did not provide details.

But the Army has charged eight members of Chen’s platoon, with counts that include negligent homicide. Richard Meadow, one of the attorneys hired by the family, was in the room with the Army and said he was impressed by the report from a three star general and two colonels.

“I expected isolated incidents of abuse. And what the Army reported to us was repeated abuse over a six-week period,” Meadow said.

The Army said if this case goes to trial it will be from the base in which the soldiers were dispatched. The Army said that will be in Alaska. The family would like it closer to home, like Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below …

  • Jose

    Bring the accuse back to the states. Let them serve in Rikers and ROT.

  • Linda

    Sodomy is another well kept secret about military life. It’s all about control and we see that at the top level of our democracy the White House. We should all understand “sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me” the military allows the utilization of sticks and stones to break off the perceived weak links in the unit and bring solidarity to the unit. Until it goes over the “limit”. Condolences to the family and the young man

  • doc

    It would not surprises me that they may have murdered him and faked his suicide. The platoon leader and all involved should be criminally charged. Sad story.

  • Salmonid5150

    I can’t even fathom the phone call his parents received heart wrenching!!!

  • Salmonid5150

    The Army wants the trial in Alaska WTF ? Their son is driven to put a bullet in his head. Now they want the family to go to Alaska for a trial. Seems like they’re going to go through more in justice before this whole thing is resolved. How about holding the worms responsible in a jail in communist China until the trial in Alaska? I don’t know what’s worse, the Brass that knew this was going on, or how these sub humans could treat another man this way who is suppose to fight by your side ? These morons took an oath to fight all enemies foreign and domestic. Not to drive a fellow soldier to his death. Nice platoon of soldiers, nobody saw this crap happening? Good luck living with yourselves’ Remember Karma’s a B@#$% My deepest condolences to the Chen family. RIP Danny

  • NYCEmployee

    MC~I am sure the enemy is laughing harder than ever now.

  • Robert McKinney

    Aren’t American troops serving in Afghanistan to teach the people there about the fairness of democracy, about racial tolerance, about “brotherhood from sea to shining sea”? Danny Chen learned a very different lesson in Afghanistan while serving in the U.S. Army and doing his duty. The individuals responsible for brutalizing Chen and making his life a living hell during his deployment to
    Afghanistan should be given a fair trial and then sent to Leavenworth Prison, where they too can learn about abuse and psychological torture on a daily basis for years on end. We tend to use the word “Hero” a bit too often. Not all American military service personnel are heroes, some are basically psychopaths.

    • debbie T.

      You are so right Robert. I can’t even imagine the family’s grief with this news and how that young soldier felt over there being abused by his own platoon and fellow soldiers. It almost makes me feel ashamed to have sons in the military. I hope they get more than they deserve.

      • ddagger

        I will never be “almost….ashamed to have sons in the military”. None of my sons would ever do anything like this.
        You should be ashamed of yourself for even making that comment. Yes, this was a horrible incident, but it should not tarnish the record of others in the least.

    • Tony

      Are you kidding me??? really im sorry some kid that was probably already suicicidal joined the military and shot himself but thats not our fault. dont blame and service for some suicidal idiot that thought joining the military was a good idea. I’m in the army and a asian-american I get crap all the time it doesnt matter that he was hazed by his peers and some of his leadership you think a white person hasnt shot himself before because “he was bullied” this is only making news because his parents are probably mad that he brought shame upon his family and made it a big deal. The soldiers that hazed him i can guaranteed recieved worse hazing when they joined the army back when people had a sense of brotherhood within the unit. Also if he was having a hard time theres more then one place he can go to get the hazing to stop (Equal Opportunity officer, Inspector General, Mental Health, or even gone up the chain of command as high as needed) he just was too much of a weakling to ask. How about we worry about people that actually do/ did their job over there and came back dead or injured how many of them do you see making news? Thanks to people like chen the army is slowing meeting its quota for downsizing. Also I forgot to mention the soldiers that are being charged for manslaughter and what not didnt pull the trigger, he did so if anyone should be on the stand it should be his corpse.

      • David

        Tony.. I am sure you would haze Danny too if you were in his unit.. because you sound like that type..

  • Michael Danziger

    My thoughts and prays go out to the family.
    To those who did this may you know only pain and trouble. Then rot in hell.

  • Sydelle Houston

    Fort Hamilton would be a better place to hold trial, not only is it close to Private Chen’s home, his grieving family and friends can show up for support. I’m relieved that the Army was able to get the details about this horrendous case of bullying and I truly hope all involved are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, as well as being dishonorably discharged. My sincerest condolences to the Chen family.

  • master cheeze

    condolences to the family as well.
    This is shocking to me. I hope only a few bad apples in the cart, but this is very sad.
    Should be front page news and how the investigation goes step by step.
    As if this isnt bad enough, I am sure the enemy is laughing harder than ever now.

  • Dr meh

    19 year old, my condolences to the Chen family
    The disgraced platoon should get their just deserves

    • Michael H.

      just desserts…

  • mj

    yes THESE aee our “HEROS”. i’m sure they all will be fine cops when they leave the service

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