US airman booked for Okinawa teenager assault
Japanese police have sent papers to prosecutors on a US airman from the Kadena Air Base who allegedly punched a teenage boy in the southernmost prefecture of Okinawa. Okinawa police on Monday booked the 24-year-old serviceman on charges of trespassing and assault.
Officials say the US airman entered a residence on the third floor of a building at a pre-dawn hour early this month. He then punched a junior high school student sleeping in the room. Police questioned the suspect on a voluntary basis. At first the airman denied the charges and said he was too drunk to remember what happened. However, he later admitted to having entered the residence, believing it to be his own, and striking the teenager who he thought was an intruder.
The incident occurred after US military personnel based in Japan were placed under a curfew between 11PM and 5 AM, following a rape by 2 US Navy sailors in Okinawa in October. In Okinawa, another US serviceman was arrested on Sunday for entering a residence in Naha city. The Marine Corps lieutenant said he had been drinking during curfew hours. Local residents are demanding tougher disciplinary measures to prevent reoccurrences.