crime

American serviceman in Okinawa held for allegedly assaulting hotel security guard

47 Comments

An American serviceman stationed in Okinawa has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a security guard at an Okinawa hotel and stealing the guard's cell phone, according to reports.

According to TV Asahi, the 20-year-old suspect was pursued into the hotel by a taxi driver after they got into a dispute over the fare at about 1 a.m. Sunday. The suspect was apparently drunk, the driver was quoted as saying.

After resolving the dispute, the serviceman attempted to rent a room at the hotel, but was turned down, TV Asahi reported.

Police said the man then became agitated, prompting the security guard to approach him. The service member then allegedly punched the guard in the head, and grabbed his cell phone as he attempted to call the police. The serviceman fled the scene with the phone.

The suspect has denied the charges.

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

47 Comments
Login to comment

The suspect has denied the charges.

The suspect was apparently drunk, the driver was quoted as saying.

These two lines go one in one with each other. I guess the answer has no boundries.

Also, why does this say TOKYO?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

After resolving the dispute, the serviceman attempted to rent a room at the hotel, but was turned down, TV Asahi reported.

why? he might have gone to bed soon.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This makes the news because he is an American. He deserves whatever punishment he gets.
0 ( +4 / -4 )

i wish these guys would grow up.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I guess this would make the news regardless of whether or not the suspect is a member of the US military. Why didnt the guy just go back to barracks or would a drunk not be welcome there iether?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I suppose the common line,

"sorry, I was drunk!"

does not apply with American service men?

5 ( +10 / -6 )

Young and dumb, the only reason it hit the news is because he is in the military, nothing more, nothing less.

7 ( +9 / -3 )

This is news because??

At least he took a page from Japan's common defense - "I was drunk!"

5 ( +7 / -2 )

US Forces occupy about 18% of Okinawa island. That's about 10% of Okinawa Prefecture. There are about 45,000 US military, civilians and dependents in Okinawa. Actually, the rate of crime per population by US servicemen is much lower than the crime commited by the native Okinawans.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Another underage drunkard who deserves whatever punishment the Article 15 imposed upon him by his commanding officer. EOS.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

CrazyJoe - don't you dare let statistics that actually work in the military's favour into a news story aimed at provoking an anti-military reaction! Where would we be if we all let rational thought and reasoning into the equation?

4 ( +8 / -4 )

I just stated a fact.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Good one CrazyJoe. This guy was drunk . He'll do some time in the brig, lose wages, lose rank and most likely won't be allowed to reenlist.

As for the Rent-A-Cop. He should have known better than to put his hands on a drunk servicemen. That's a trained soldier. You don't put your hands on him to control him.

The hotel refusing him service is a different matter altogether. They could be sued for that. I doubt they will but if the young serviceman had money and / or credit card and vacancies were available then the hotel might be at fault.

Now reality: There won't be a civil suit. If there was, the hotel would just lie. He was drunk and any testimony he could provide would easily be refuted.

I expect this will disappear unless Okinawa's government wants to make a stink of it.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

If he were a member of the Japanese Self-defense Force or Japanese politician, this case would still make a news. Whether the crime rate is high or low and whether he is American or Japanese should not have anything to do with the case.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

kaketama, you are right but that is never how it plays out here, especially Okinawa. The guy was a drunk who made a very stupid choice. He should and will be punished. Waiting to see if this one is overblown.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

perfect timing now pennetta can answer to the okinawans

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A drunk Okinawan assaulting a U.S. serviceman would not make news. I would guess that the overall number of incidences of crime committed by Japanese nationals against U.S. service members far exceeds the number of crimes the other way around. (This also goes for crimes in Japan committed by versus those committed against non-Japanese nationals)

That there are blatant strategic reasons behind why these relatively minor incidents committed by U.S. troops and their family members make national news in Japan is all too obvious — low-cost leverage at the international bargaining table.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

How drunk was the serviceman??? I mean, he was able to get out the taxi and enter a hotel.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maybe the taxi driver did not give him a piece of gum like they do in Kanagawa.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

Sounds like a xenophobic security guard (no not in Japan that could never happen) got a bit overambitious and learned how a man fights.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

say and make an assumption after you watch every local news in Japan or Okinawa and collect the source of proofing that the number of crime done by Japanese nationals against US mil member far exceeds the number of crimes the other way around you say.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If we're going to talk statistics of Military vs. Okinawan crime rates, then here is a stistic: 100% of crime by military in Okinawa is done by the military, with 0% being done by okinawans. That is to say, if the Americans weren't there, they wouldn't be committing the crimes. As such a comparison of rates is pointless. The Okinawans are in their home, their land. The Americans are (often unwelcome) 'guests'.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Readers, please do not turn this thread into a debate on the number of crimes committed by Okinawans versus the number of crimes committed by U.S. military personnel. It is irrelevant. Please comment on what is in the story.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As for the Rent-A-Cop. He should have known better than to put his hands on a drunk servicemen. That's a trained soldier. You don't put your hands on him to control him.

The security guard was on the phone calling/attempting to call the police when he was attacked.

Nothing says he put his hands on to control the guy.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

So racist hotel turns down a solider for...? He wants to call the cops, they refuse, he grabs for the phone and the hotel calls the cops?? Shame they just didn't rent him and room and be done with it.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Readers, please do not turn this thread into a debate on the number of crimes committed by Okinawans versus the number of crimes committed by U.S. military personnel. It is irrelevant. Please comment on what is in the story.

Moderator, Excellent post!!! Thank You

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hakuman: "If we're going to talk statistics of Military vs. Okinawan crime rates, then here is a stistic: 100% of crime by military in Okinawa is done by the military, with 0% being done by okinawans."

You can walk. Japanese robots can walk. You are therefore a Japanese robot.

Your attempt at syllogism doesn't fly any more than mine does, my friend... unless you ARE a Japanese robot, in which case I'll rethink your pathetic 'argument'.

The 'funny' thing is, when you talk about Japanese militarism and history in terms of rape and assault they say the people who raped women did not represent the nation of Japan, and yet when a US service-person commits a crime you have a bunch of Japanese calling for the heads of all in the US military. Which is it?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think the hotel fully had the right to refuse service to him. Put yourself in the hotel's shoes.

If a drunk man was arguing with a taxi driver outside of your hotel, would you want him to come in? They were arguing about money, which may mean that he doesn't have enough for the taxi or that his credit card is bad. Now, this wouldn't maybe be a problem if he was sober and could explain the situation coherently but since he was drunk maybe he isn't comprehendable. In fact he is drunk and angry because of the spat with the taxi driver. So, one may expect that he will make a mess of the room (vomit or angrily break things as drunks are to do) which he may or may not be able to pay for in the morning.

If I worked there, I would probably refuse service to him too.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

A drunk Okinawan assaulting a U.S. serviceman would not make news.

Yes it would, in the Stars and Stripes. The local press of course will not print it due to it's anti military stance, but it would get reported.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Yubaru - you're right. It certainly wouldn't get in the Oki Times, Ryukyu Shimpo or on JU.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@soldave, all JU does anyway is poorly translate local press articles and reprint them with no follow-ups anyway. Not a reliable source of information regarding anything to do with Okinawa.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe they should give him the death penalty like th lady in Maylasia? That would show those dirty scoundrals!! Really, is a drunk guy getting into an altercation really that big of a news story?? ONLY if American AND in Okinawa.

CrazyJoe aint so Crazy!! This is the FACT that needs to be used to lend perspective to the story. No "Fair and Balanced" when it comes to Americans in Okinawa.

Dont get me wrong, really pisses me off because I live here (NOT Military) and have since 86. This crap makes my live interesting in every sence of the word. All started when CNN was cmaped in my parking lot to cover the rape that started it all (at least the modern iteration). BUT, each act should be looked at as an individual act unless there is compelling evidence that there is something really wrong. Which is not the case. For the most part the young men and women handle themselves FAR better than most college kids (which is really the ages we are dealing with) in any city or country.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I bet the kid was an angry drunk (see story), so I can understand refusing to serve him. and he should be punished accordingly. No comparisons needed.

But what will happen is this: the curfew will return because of this type of behavior. One bad apple out of an orchard is all that is needed. I see all the good things here the Marines / Soldiers / Airman / Sailors do, but it only takes one to screw it up.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No real harm was done, have him scrub toilets for a few days and be done with it. This is such a minor event.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sakurala, plenty of Japanese argue with their taxi drivers and get rooms rented to them. They let them in. Plenty of salarymen show up with puke all over them and they let them in. You're assuming a lot, no??

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

<-- American so take any percieved bias accordingly:

I see this as 1.) drunk guy having an argument in hotel lobby with taxi driver, creating a distrubance. 2.) once dispute with taxi driver is resolved, drunk guy tries to rent a room, but hotel denies him (as is their right in order to maintain the hotel's reputation - you DON'T want your establishment to gain a reputation as a haven for loud obnoxious drunks.) 3.) drunk starts raising ANOTHER ruckus with the hotel clerk which draws the attention of the security guard. 4.) Guard attempts to escort the drunk out and the drunk assaults the guard - stealing his keitai in the process. 5.) drunk then runs off with the phone to keep the guard from calling the police.

Removing all the nationalities from the story clarifies it a bit and hopefully people realize the drunk is the only one doing something wrong here. As for the issue of whether the drunk was underage, can you be an adult in Japan at 20 but not able to legally drink? (On second thought, why not? You can be an adult in the U.S. at 18 and die for your country, but you can't drink until you're 21.)

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Thank you Fadamor for saying what I was going to. Drunks without borders, as it were.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A friend of mine laid out 3 out of 4 drunk Japanese guys 2 weeks ago-it didn't make the news.....

The drunk Japanese then proceeded to fight the attending cops....!

It didn't make the news...........

I wonder why it didn't make the news?????????

0 ( +0 / -0 )

(On second thought, why not? You can be an adult in the U.S. at 18 and die for your country, but you can't drink until you're 21.)

The US went through this once during and after VietNam, and the 40,000 plus deaths per year due to drunk driving changed it back to 21.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Another bad apple from the US bases, wish they let his peers beat the crap out of him to knock some sense into the fool!! Just takes one bad apple to screw it up for the rest of the good soldiers.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

His peers won't have to beat the crap out of him. Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, if a serviceman does something that causes embarrassment to the service, he can be charged and jailed - OVER AND ABOVE any civilian charges and/or punishment. He's facing two courts - the civilian one and after they're done with him he can look forward to a military court. Now he gets to ask himself if getting that drunk was REALLY worth it?

When you're stationed overseas, they drill this kind of thing into your head. You are NOT immune from local laws and you WILL be prosecuted by the local country if you are found to have broken a law, THEN you will be prosecuted by the American military. The intent is to make breaking the law so penalizing that even the drunks will take heed, but we're talking late teens and twenty-somethings who feel they're invulnerable. Wrong.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Fadamor, you seem kind of rough on the young man. If a young Okinawa person did this would not even make the news. So he got drunk disagreed with the taxi driver, then got in a shoving match with the hotel guard. Good chance the guard was drunk as well and then took the guards phone. The press is making too much of it, send him back to the military and let them discipline him. From my point of view this is a nothing. Equal treatment of all perps

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As I said, whenever you go overseas you're repeatedly warned that your "rights" as an American citizen mean nothing in a foreign country so you better walk the straight and narrow. Contrary to what some Japanese people think, you WON'T be whisked away before the local justice establishment can get ahold of you. If you create an incident that can result in charges, 9 times out of 10 the only one who's at fault is the person staring at you in the mirror and about the only thing you can count on is that your branch of the service is not going to bail you out and even if the local government drops the charges, the military is not likely to be as forgiving. The U.S. military in Japan has enough of an image problem with the locals without morons in its ranks creating incidents like this. We DO care that our military's image is bad in Japan and we DO want to improve that image but the 99% of the military there doing good things and behaving in a lawful manner gets back-stabbed by the 1% who could care less about the military's image. It's that 1% that we ALL would love to send back to the States, but unfortunately we can't identify them until AFTER they've caused their damage.

I'm sure this serviceman has been told all this more than once (we used to get the repeat lecture everytime someone made the papers for a misdeed). Despite that, he still caused problems. He SHOULD be prosecuted by Japanese authorities as long as the punishment is comparable to what a civilian in the same situation would get.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Fadamor, can agree with you on this one. Think it should be a learning experience for the young man and others. He should only get the civilian sentence that is typical for a local Okinawa person. Just hope the US Military does not ruin him for a case of stupid. Am much more amused by this than shocked, it is to the militaries credit it does not happen more often.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

FadamorOct. 25, 2011 - 11:37PM JST. 1.) drunk guy having an argument in hotel lobby with taxi driver, creating a distrubance.

He saids he had a dispute about the fare. Maybe he had a legilimate argument. In Japan, sometimes when the taxi driver would hear where your going, they would deliberately take a longer route to run up the meter. Of course, this isn't a problem unique to Japan, but he might've been pissed me off when the meter would go up to 1000 yen or even more, because he knew the trip could be completed for 710 yen, since he took the trip so many times. The taxi driver might've taken advantage of him since he was foreigner and drunk.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You are NOT immune from local laws and you WILL be prosecuted by the local country if you are found to have broken a law,

That is based upon the assumption that the US Military will turn the suspect over to the Japanese authorities.

There have been plenty of cases where incidents occurred where this is BLATANTLY not true!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites