Three American soldiers who were under the influence of alcohol caused a commotion as they shopped in the Slovak town of Zvolen on Sunday.
The serviceman started to argue very loudly before becoming involved in a physical altercation inside the Billa supermarket, eyewitnesses told Slovak newspaper Pravda.
The police were called to the scene and escorted the soldiers to the local police station.
The U.S. embassy in Slovakia described the incident as “an inexcusable display of disrespect towards the Slovak police and the community,” and revealed the soldiers involved in the incident had been recalled from their posts in Slovakia and are due to face disciplinary proceedings.
Local residents expressed their indignation at the incident on social media, revealing that one of the U.S. troops allegedly cursed at the police officers and shouted that he was going to kill them all before he was restrained.
“At our store in Zvolen, there was a more expressive exchange of opinions between customers. When the noisier group began to affect the shopping comfort of other customers, we called a police patrol to escort them out of the store. There was no physical attack, it was just a verbal exchange of opinions,” said Kvetoslava Kirchnerová, a Billa spokeswoman.
However, one eyewitness recounts the incident rather differently. “I was there around 8:30 p.m. Three men, one of whom was black, were arguing in English. Then they fought. One of them ended up on the ground. They were drunk as dogs,” they told Slovak media. According to him, the U.S. soldiers did not cause any damage, “but they were annoying, they were really shouting, basically screaming.”
In a statement published on social media, the U.S. embassy in Slovakia berated the soldiers involved and their “inexcusable display of disrespect towards the Slovak police and community.”
“The incident was between two soldiers and there was no damage to property or involvement of anyone other than the group of Americans,” the embassy tweeted.
“Unfortunately, some are trying to use this incident to divide our two countries and denigrate the many American servicemen and women who came to help and support Slovakia, our ally, after the brutal Russian invasion of neighboring Ukraine,” the U.S. embassy wrote, adding that “Slovakia has been our friend and ally for three decades. We will always stand with you in partnership and cooperation.”