Heres the link to the story.NEW YORK (AP) _ A soldier who spent 10 months in Iraq has admitted he paid someone $500 to shoot him in the leg rather than return for another tour.
"As far as being shot at every day, I think it's better," Jonathan Aponte, 20, told WCBS-TV in an interview that aired Friday. "Mentally I can't do it anymore. I can't handle it anymore."
Aponte was charged with conspiracy and falsely reporting an incident, according to the criminal complaint filed in state Supreme Court in the Bronx.
His wife, Alexandra Gonzalez, 22, was charged with assault, conspiracy and harassment.
Aponte, who recently returned from Iraq and was facing another eight-month tour, said he had been robbed and shot but eventually changed his story when he was questioned by police, authorities said. He had been scheduled to leave last Monday.
According to the complaint, Aponte had joked with his wife about getting shot in the leg so he could avoid another tour in the war torn country. But his wife took the off-the-cuff remark seriously, and said she knew a man named Felix who could do the job.
"I decided I wasn't going to go back, one way or another," he said.
Early Monday morning, the pair met with the man, who agreed to do the job for $500.
"I smoked a cigarette and kept my eyes closed because I did not want to see it coming," Aponte told an investigator. "Next think I knew I was shot in the knee."
The couple was arraigned Thursday and released on their own recognizance.
Aponte's lawyer has said the self-inflicted shooting was an act of desperation, and Aponte suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. He said the military will evaluate his client and decide if he is fit for duty, provide counseling if needed and send him back overseas, or discharge him.
The suspected shooter, Felix Padilla, 24, was arraigned Thursday and charged with assault, weapon possession, conspiracy and harassment.
"I shot him in the knee," according to the criminal complaint against Padilla. "After that I went home and hid the gun outside."
A spokesman with the Bronx District Attorney's office didn't know whether Padilla had been released.
I am going to say that they are keeping these soldiers over there too long. They need to rotate them out. We are really mentally hurting them.