crime

4,000 police hunt for rape suspect who escaped from prosecutors office in Kawasaki

68 Comments

A massive manhunt was underway in Japan on Wednesday with 4,000 police officers, 850 vehicles, sniffer dogs, helicopters and boats scouring Kawasaki for an escaped rape suspect.

Yuta Sugimoto, 20, was being questioned over claims he was part of a gang that raped and robbed a woman on the streets of Kawasaki on Jan 2.

According to police, Sugimoto was speaking to his lawyer on the sixth floor of the Yokohama District Prosecutors Office building. He asked to use the restroom on the 4th floor. A police officer removed his handcuffs but left a restraint attached to Sugimoto's waist. In the few short moments when he was not being watched by the officer in charge, Sugimoto slipped from his bindings and escaped the building. The officer gave chase but lost him.

On Wednesday, police said that Sugimoto's clothes were discovered in the garden of a nearby house.

Police in the area mounted the massive operation when the alarm was raised, flooding the streets with thousands of officers and a huge amount of equipment, the Sankei Shimbun newspaper reported.

Police say Sugimoto was arrested Monday along with another man. The case itself was not going to be made public, but that changed when the suspect vanished, the official said.

Local schools instructed students not to venture out alone. "It is frightening that he is still on the run," one mother of an elementary school child told Fuji TV.

© Japan Today/AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


68 Comments
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completely the fault of the police. I hope they find this guy soon - he sounds dangerous.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Only 4000? Why not 10,000? Pride before anything else again...

-16 ( +6 / -22 )

Is anyone surprised that the police here can be so incompetent? And to think you have to pass a pretty hard test to join these morons. It's a perfect example that passing tests does not mean you are smart.

14 ( +21 / -9 )

Brave guy! Stupid too though - they know his name, and we're on an island. Where's he going to go?

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Slip away from the police, maybe I can see this happening,...but getting out of the building?? Wasn't he in secured area with guards? How could have gotten out so easily?

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Again with the hyperbolic police reporting of officers "searching" for a suspect. Last week it was 190,000 police "involved" in the search for the killer(s) of a family of 4 ten years ago. One can't include duty officer in kobans across the country to pinning up wanted posters on the notice board as "being involved in the case."

15 ( +16 / -2 )

Police should have kept his handcuffs on. At least we have his mugshot since he's 20.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The police does not need to use 4000 police officers to catch one escapee. Japanese Police Officers' quality is in question mark.

7 ( +10 / -4 )

I've heard they removed the hand cuffs but kept a "waist collar" on him? What is he? A dog?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

He's probably not guilty anyway so they let him go!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'd like to know more about this gang rape. Was it yet another university sport's team? And why isn't the rape itself hitting the news? A US GI rapes someone it is all over the news. A Japanese guy? Only makes the news because the idiots managed to let him escape. Reminds me of someone else who raped (and murdered) and managed to escape and be on the run for years.

19 ( +28 / -10 )

The police does not need to use 4000 police officers to catch one escapee. Japanese Police Officers' quality is in question mark.

Not exactly. The Japanese police have a policy of absolutely stepping on issues when they arise, so as to scare others into not wanting to commit the same offense. If the people saw that some guy escaped, and they sent a cop on a bike to look after him who gave up in an hour, it would likely again. But when you read about a guy who somehow managed to escape and had 4000 police looking for him, it's likely to give the next person pause before they try to do the same. So it may seem like overkill at first, but it's their form of prevention.

8 ( +9 / -4 )

Is his mugshot available? JT? Have the police asked the public for help?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

tamarie, it was all over the news. If I recall correctly, it was him and one other guy. He was being questioned for the crime and he ran away, so for the time being I will assume he is guilty.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is almost worse than when they left the guy alone in the back room of the police station with the backdoor unlocked. J-cops at their finest, once again.

5 ( +9 / -6 )

He sounds like a violent sociopath. The news this morning showed the police patrolling nearby schools and frightened women commuters saying "Kowai" one after another. Everyone seemed to be in a panic.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Kickboard, it is on the news NOW. Why wasn't it before he escaped and other gang rapes?

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Tatsuya Ichihashi all over again. I thought the police might have learned something from that time.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Japanese police learn something? That'll be the day

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

A US GI rapes someone it is all over the news. A Japanese guy? Only makes the news because the idiots managed to let him escape.

tmarie: There's a rapist on the loose and THAT'S what you're concerned about??? Granted, even IF your observation is accurate, you do realize that even news groups focus only on what's "newsworthy" (ie. what sells)

8 ( +11 / -4 )

In the few short moments when he was not being watched by the officer in charge, Sugimoto slipped from his bindings and escaped the building.

It should have gone without saying that there should have been no time when he was not being watched. What was the officer thinking?

Tatsuya Ichihashi all over again.

My thoughts exactly. Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A little reminder everyone: suspects get away from police sometimes, I don't care that they never showed you that footage on the TV show Cops. They do. I think attempts to escape happen less here, thus, the Japanese police are not as prepared for it. All anyone can do is focus on priorities, and this is not one of them for Japanese police because this is Japan.

And another reminder: Gang rapes happen even here. Even if the press neglects to tell you while printing stories of rape elsewhere, they also happen here.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

A little reminder everyone: suspects get away from police sometimes,

A little reminder for you, suspects get away more easily when they are not handcuffed and not watched. The officer made a mistake. There is nothing wrong with pointing this out, especially if it prevents it happening again.

I think attempts to escape happen less here

I do not know the figures, but certainly less attacks happen if correct procedures are followed. In this case, they were not and the suspect was allowed to escape.

Why, may I ask, are you attempting to defend an error that allowed a violent suspect to escape?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I suppose one benefit of living in what is basically a monoculture is that if you ever need to go on the run, the police's description of you pretty much matches 95% of either the male or female population! Always makes me laugh when they describe a suspect as having 'black hair'; really, no sh*t!

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

funny car: "A little reminder everyone: suspects get away from police sometimes,"

Let's change the adverb of frequency when we talk about J-police from 'sometimes' to 'often'.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

I heard the helicopters all day in my neighborhood....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Always makes me laugh when they describe a suspect as having 'black hair'; really, no sh*t!

Some Japanese have grey or dyed hair. So the laughs on you genius.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

smithinjapanJan. 08, 2014 - 04:16PM JST

Let's change the adverb of frequency when we talk about J-police from 'sometimes' to 'often'.

When was the last time a suspect ran from a police station or a prosecutors office?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I'm pretty sure there may be some police officers standing in the unemployment line. Not looking good for them. Hope they catch this guy. What a loser and at only 20!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

bilderberg_2015

Always makes me laugh when they describe a suspect as having 'black hair'; really, no sh*t!

where in the article does it say that the suspect has black hair? i don't see it - when i see Japanese articles, there is no mention of his hair color (and usually we do not hear suspects' hair color unless it's blonde or gray) they mention what he was wearing, his height and build and etc, though.

tmarie

A US GI rapes someone it is all over the news. A Japanese guy? Only makes the news because the idiots managed to let him escape

these types or news (gang rape and etc) are usually all over, it's that you probably notice the news that involve foreigners I guess.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

In all seriousness, shouldnt be too long before he gets caught or turns himself in now.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The police officer made a mistake. I am at a loss as to why it is wrong to point this out. Keep in mind, it is also wrong to attempt to blame every police officer for the mistake this police officer made, but it does not change the fact that a mistake was made.

1 ( +3 / -1 )

When was the last time a suspect ran from a police station or a prosecutors office?

There was a high-profile cast just last November

http://japandailypress.com/german-national-escapes-miyagi-police-wanted-for-alleged-assault-1439504/

A German national, wanted for an alleged assault on two employees of a hotel in Sendai, has reportedly escaped the custody of the Miyagi Prefectural Police on Wednesday evening. He has been placed on a nationwide wanted list after breaking out of the Sendai Central Police Station in Aoba Ward.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I seriously suspect that the only reason for such a large number of personnel to catch this one "suspect" is to try and lessen the embarrassment they will have to deal with.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

taijan:

" Is his mugshot available? JT? Have the police asked the public for help? "

His mugshot is right on top this article! And they asking the public constantly, in any news show you turn on.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Japanese police are a mixed bag. There are some duds for sure, but some of 'em are solid. They'll get the guy and hopefully keep him this time.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The army of boots on the ground is totally for the cops' face-saving, and has nothing to do with getting the guy, as he is gone, gone, gone. Also a big chance for anyone else to do a crime, as ALL cops were busy with something else, guaranteed, at that time. If I were a criminal, I would have taken the opportunity.

Unfortunate they told children to stay indoors, unless they have specific info he is a pedophile or likely to kidnap a kid for self protection. Why? They are just spreading fear and panic and making a noise, again for their own face-saving. He is likely to be running away or hiding, not thinking about how he can rape a child, imo.

The problem is that he ran away from cops inside the police station and with restraints on, at least some of the restraints.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Great. Hopefully this scum bag is well away from Kawasaki. As I live in Kawasaki. Feel sorry for this giy if I run into him snooping around my neighbourhood.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"In the few short moments when he was not being watched by the officer in charge, Sugimoto slipped from his bindings and escaped the building. The officer gave chase but lost him."

Folks need to use all the resources available to them.

The guy is out smarting them all and that can't be allowed to happen.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well, obviously a gamble that went sour. They COULD have avoided all this by leaving the cuffs on, but then the officer may have to remove the gang-raper's pants for him. They could also have kept watching, but some left wing lawyer will start whining about his human rights.

There is always an element of face-saving when crap like this happens, so I won't deny the Japanese police the right to do so. At least they realized they screwed up.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

One thing for sure, some HEADS SHOULD ROLL!! Who ever was responsible for letting this bastard rapist, thug 20 year old scum bag ESCAPE, should be FIRED!!! Time to make good examples of these idiot fools who cause so many problems like letting CONVICTED RAPISTS ESCAPE!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Time to make good examples of these idiot fools who cause so many problems like letting CONVICTED RAPISTS ESCAPE!!

Which convicted rapists exactly did they let escape?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The photo is pretty good, I mean it's a hard face to forget! Plus I would love yo see him and call the cops on him!

I will watch out for him.... But, it's like a needle in a haystack. Furthermore, he is likely not in my area...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Tatsuya Ichihashi all over again."

Maybe Sugimoto will get plastic surgery like Ichihashi and hide from the cops for a year or so.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

He was spotted near my station. i wonder if he is hiding out in one of the manga-chas

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

the fact that he ran away means hes guilty.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

With the attention of Medias as well as general public’s alertness, cops will get him sooner or later.

But, a lessen should be learned by police stations across Japan for how to handle crime suspects properly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Any idea why the suspect asked for and was allowed to use the 4th floor restroom as opposed to the one on the 6th where he was located?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

WOW WOW The articles reads "4,000 police hunt for rape suspect who escaped from prosecutors office in Kawasaki" you mean to tell me you waste tax payers money with this many POLICE resources looking for a rapist??? When I read the article just looking at the sheer number of personnel involved I would have thought the article would have said HE WAS ARMED AND DANGEROUS!! No where did the article say he was armed or dangerous it just said he was a rapist that escaped from the prosecutors off . So my question is it because he escaped from the prosecutors office they have to do such. I am sure there are many rapist that get away and they don't deploy this many police.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So many resources to catch this guy. Do I sense a loss of face. Duhhhh....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Come on ... he is not in kawasaki anymore.

Im pretty shocked that the fact a girl got kidnapped and gang raped did not make the news, but this guy escaping did. The 4000 cops are working to find this guy in order to postpone, or lessen, the huge disciplining they are all going to get after he is caught. Feel bad for the cop he got away from.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I had been wondering how this guy managed to get away when I read this story. I thought maybe he had sneaked out a window, or somehow managed to sneak past the cop who took him to the loo. But apparently, the restroom in question was near the stairwell, and when the police took off his cuffs, he ran for the stairwell as fast as he could, and out the building. Crazy stuff.

What also surprised me is that he has a wife and one year old child. Poor family.

The photo is pretty good, I mean it's a hard face to forget!

It's his mug shot. They are showing full-body shots on the Japanese news.

the fact that he ran away means hes guilty.

No it doesn't. The Japanese legal system, for all its faults, still presumes innocent until proven guilty.

Come on ... he is not in kawasaki anymore.

He may be. Wherever he is, he's likely indoors. They think he got out of the neighborhood with two friends on a white scooter.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

So, it takes 4,000 j-cops to track down one not-so-petty perp just cost hey we're stupid enough to let him escape in the first place? He is a suspected gang rapist, but they let him go to the can and removed his restraints? Seriously? He should have been made to pee in his pants! Should we also scoff that it is now nearly 24 hours later and the 4.000 goons still haven't caught him. Guess the j-flops are not gonna beat a confession out of this one. Am I the only one having flash backs to the loser that killed thatteacherin Ichikawa a few years ago? He was also allowed to escape as he ran through half a dozen of Japan's finest (barefoot) and spent the following two years on the run? Generally, japanese police are quite kind and considerate, but they have no idea how to handle real criminals! A direct result of a passive policing policy.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

According to Elbuda Mexicano One thing for sure, a bastard rapist, thug 20 year old scum bag idiot fool. Is on the loose. Not to mention Elbudo Mexicano you wrote "letting CONVICTED RAPISTS ESCAPE!! Was this guy ever convicted? Dude before you post think before you write!!!

Also the alleged rapist photo doesn't even look close to a mug shot it looks like a picture for a resume or CV!!!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I really doubt 4000 police are going to be any more effective than 20 as this is no longer a house-to-house search. The guy probably hopped a train or is holed up with a friend.

The cop who let this guy escape is a real dolt....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

CGB SpenderJAN. 08, 2014 - 11:33AM JST I've heard they removed the hand cuffs but kept a "waist collar" on him? What is he? A dog?

This is the "harness" that they put around the waist to handcuff to rather than keeping the hands behind the back (can't break a fall) or in the front (can still use arms).

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japanese Police..... Legends!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

No it doesn't. The Japanese legal system, for all its faults, still presumes innocent until proven guilty.

Sorry, but you clearly don't know what you're talking about. The Japanese legal system presumes innocent....until ARRESTED.

2 ( +4 / -3 )

No it doesn't. When a person is arrested, they are officially called yogisha - 'suspect'. Not hanzaisha 'guilty'.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Thanks for the unnecessary Japanese lesson. Semantics. We're talking about a country where the conviction rate is 99% once arrested....so, for all intents and purposes, once arrested, you're guilty in Japan.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Thanks for the unnecessary Japanese lesson. Semantics. We're talking about a country where the conviction rate is 99% once arrested...

No, the conviction rate is 99% when charged (kisou), not arrested (taihou). Many people are arrested and released with a warning (keisatsu chui jikou), or after settlement with the other party (jidan). If you were to look at the arrest rate, it would be a significantly smaller number. I'd say even as low as 50%, as the police generally will try to come up with some arrangement before charging the person, and/or will not formally charge the person unless they are sure of conviction.

-3 ( +3 / -5 )

these types or news (gang rape and etc) are usually all over, it's that you probably notice the news that involve foreigners I guess.

Um, no they aren't. In many rape cases - and gang rapes - the woman is often pressured to drop the charges. The only reason this is news is because this guy escaped. Hence my point. I wish more rape cases were in the news so people had a better understanding of how much of an issue it is here.

tmarie: There's a rapist on the loose and THAT'S what you're concerned about??? Granted, even IF your observation is accurate, you do realize that even news groups focus only on what's "newsworthy" (ie. what sells)

Yes, that is exactly what I said in my post... I think mass numbers of rape IS news. You don't?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

tmarie - the reason why this guy wasn't on the news until he escaped was because he was still a suspect at that time. when rapests are convicted, it's on the news. if all the "suspects" are on the news, you could probably report anyone you hate and with no solid evidense, their names are all over (and that really isn't good at all).

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Fishy, no it's not. If you think all rape cases make the news, I think you are truly unaware of how serious an issue it is.

2 ( +3 / -2 )

tmarie - i am not saying all rape cases make the news - just like other countries - but we do see them on the news.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He's been caught!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Fishy, they are only in the news if it is a foreigner, a famous person or in connection with another crime, like this case. Thousands of women get raped in this country and they are silences by the lack of reporting in the media, the way they are treated by the police and the stigmatization they face.

And this guy is still a suspect, he hasn't been convicted.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

CH3CHO: "When was the last time a suspect ran from a police station or a prosecutors office?"

Nessie gave you the most recent (reported) one, but there also someone who sexually assaulted a woman last year who walked free and easy out of the unlocked back door of the room the police put him in. And I don't think I need to mention Ichihashi... oops!

Anyway, on a positive note they got him, but they never should have lost him in the first place.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

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