11 Soldiers Charged With in Home Invasion, Assault of Fellow Officer and Wife

Eleven Fort Drum soldiers burst into a fellow soldier's home and attacked him and his wife, kicking him repeatedly and punching her in the face, authorities said Friday.

The attack late Wednesday was in retaliation for the earlier arrest of another soldier, state police said. The 11 were charged with burglary and one also was charged with second-degree assault for allegedly hitting the soldier's wife with a bottle.

Carl Laws, 22, and his wife, Emily Hernandez, 21, were released from Samaritan Medical Center after treatment for multiple cuts and bruises.

Additional charges are possible after the case is presented to a grand jury, state police investigator Randy Pound said.

The soldier who had been arrested earlier did not take part in the attack, Pound said. That arrest stemmed from a complaint made by the couple involving the alleged violation of an order of protection, authorities said. No further details were given.

Fort Drum spokesman Lt. Col. Paul Fitzpatrick confirmed that all 11 soldiers are members of the 10th Mountain Division stationed there.

Although the investigation and prosecution are being handled by civilian authorities, Army officials will review the case.

"We support the investigation," Fitzpatrick said. "The Army does not tolerate this kind of conduct. ... It is totally out of character with our training and values."

Charged with burglary were Tyson Tucker, 20; Martin Johnson, 22; Jason Cofield, 25; Erica Hodges, 19; Shavonn Wynne, 22; Vianka DelCid, 19; Tyrone Lihpai, 22; James Skinner, 27; Carlton Causey, 28; Randi Bush, 18; and Shalota Williams, 22. Wynne was also charged with second-degree assault for allegedly hitting the soldier's wife.

Williams was turned over to her military superiors; the other 10 were ordered held in the Jefferson County jail on $5,000 bail each.

Fort Drum is about 75 miles north of Syracuse. The 17,000-member 10th Mountain Division, which is based there, has been one of the mainstays of Army deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Fitzpatrick said he did not believe any of the arrested soldiers had been recently deployed to either place.