Kazuharu Okamoto, 70, of Hekinan, Aichi Prefecture, the president of a transportation company, is currently recovering from face injuries while also facing charges of reckless driving and assault after an altercation with more than 10 bikers.
The incident occurred on Jan 4 when Okamoto was driving in nearby Handa City behind a pack of over 10 touring motorcycles. According to police, he became enraged from being behind the pack and gradually driving closer and closer to their rear. This upset the bikers who confronted Kazuharu about his tailgating. The details about how things escalated aren’t clear yet, but one thing led to another and a brawl broke out between the senior and the group of motorcycle enthusiasts.
The next day, four men in the group – all of whom are said to be in their 40s and 50s – were arrested for breaking bones in Okamoto’s face from punching and kicking him. However, they all claimed that he swung first.
A few days later, on Jan 10, police took Okamoto into custody for assault because at the time he had punched a 48-year-old woman in the group in the head. She was wearing a helmet at the time, but is still said to have received light injuries from the blow.
In a subsequent investigation, the police reviewed the footage on Okamoto’s dash cam and on Jan 20 additionally charged him with “obstructive driving” which is the legal term for road-rage-related reckless driving. He currently denies that charge.
Unfortunately, there still aren’t many details about the nature of the fight that occurred beforehand. But the currently known fact of a lone senior citizen taking on over 10 people at the same time was enough to impress readers of the news online in the following comments.
“He’s keeping healthy.”
“Grandpa thinks he’s Mad Max.”
“It sounds like a bunch of bikers tried to gang up on him, but it was probably just a bunch of normal people riding around.”
“I wonder if the bikes all started swarming around him. I could see that happening.”
“One…on…ten? That’s wild.”
“Over ten of them and they still lost. lol”
“Maybe the bikers were just too afraid to hit him because it might have killed him.”
“I think that lady should sue the helmet company.”
Like in other countries, there are many different kinds of bikers in Japan. The media is using the term “bike shudan” (bike group) rather than “bosozoku” which usually applies to the teenage bikers known for their dangerous riding and fights. That would also suggest that these people were likely more of the weekend-warrior type motorcycle enthusiasts than actual sons of anarchy.
In addition, the fact that the police seem to be pursuing Okamoto’s actions rather than those of the others makes it appear as though he was the real instigator of violence in this altercation.
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