crime

Club boss caught on camera beating elderly taxi driver

55 Comments
By Philip Kendall

A video showing a man believed to be the boss of a “host club” bar repeatedly striking an elderly taxi driver has caused outrage in Japan after it was uploaded to YouTube and Niconico video.

The video, which is incredibly hard to watch and has already been removed several times due to its disturbing content, led to Internet users uniting for a common cause and demanding that the hat-wearing bully be identified and arrested.

The incident is believed to have taken place in Towada City, Aomori Prefecture on Nov 7. The video, seemingly taken by a patron, begins as the tall, hat-wearing “owner” of the bar began yelling at the taxi driver who is initially out of shot.

It is believed that the taxi driver was called to the bar to collect a drunken young woman, but that, upon his arrival and seeing her condition, the driver refused to escort her to his waiting cab.

“Your customer is waiting. Come and get her!” the owner yells, pointing to a woman wearing a white outfit and furry white boots, before following the driver outside.

The cigarette-sucking patron recording the argument, chuckling with amusement as the old man is berated, then leaves his seat and follows the group outside to capture more of the uncomfortable scene.

Despite being grabbed by the tie and pushed and shoved around, the taxi driver does not retaliate, and at first tries to explain why he would not enter the bar to remove the young woman as he was ordered to. Not satisfied with the taxi driver’s response and clearly enjoying his power trip, the younger man shoves the driver against a wall before slapping him in the face repeatedly.

Once or twice during the video, a single voice can be heard saying “come on now, that’s not cool,” but even so, the elderly taxi driver is subjected to a humiliating beating before being led outside and pushed to the ground.

Twitter users were quick to condemn the bully, calling him everything from “despicable individual” to “a worthless piece of crap” and demanding that “we catch this nasty piece of work as soon as possible.”

News arrived later that the club owner – reported to be 38-year-old Shinichi Hatakeyama – had been identified and subsequently arrested.

Credit, of course, goes to Towada police for their work in identifying and arresting the man, but the response from Japan’s Internet users, as well as those who repeatedly posted the video and demanded that it be recognised, must also be congratulated. It is believed that, thanks to the number of tweets and message board posts concerning the incident, information about the man’s identity was revealed, contributing to his arrest.

Naturally, the same message boards lit up when the news of the man’s arrest came in, with posts such as “You guys are the best,” and “I’m starting my day with a good feeling in my heart!” being common.

Sources: ハムスター速報 YouTube video

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55 Comments
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Is that cab driver alive? How's he doing? boss will pay little fine or get suspended sentence.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Finally a little bit of justice. Poor cabbie! I hate when Japanese men become drunk and belligerent! what an a$$hole

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Credit, of course, goes to Towada police for their work in identifying and arresting the man,

Credit? RIght, I get it, the cops get credit for doing their jobs.

but the response from Japan’s Internet users, as well as those who repeatedly posted the video and demanded that it be recognised, must also be congratulated. It is believed that, thanks to the number of tweets and message board posts concerning the incident, information about the man’s identity was revealed, contributing to his arrest.

So it's the folks on the net' who identified the guy and got the cops butt's into gear.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

@Yubaru

My thoughts exactly. The police arrested him, that's it. Average people did a lot of the work.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

A savage beating on a defenseless old man. However we all know the only thing that will come out if it is a few 万円 changing hands and the police can go back to sleep

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Typical lower class Japanese mentality (typical ciggie and 100 empty glassed up table for this lot too)... These are the people you read about killing kids here... Anyway- The guy recording was snickering like a high school punk... National embarrassment from a hole in the wall hostess bar. Everyone there should have shame and the bar liquidated for the cab driver... but who owns outright is another story. Dude punches like girl.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Good on the Net Citizens of Japan! The police here and in any country need help, so it is good to hear when some justice is served through the united efforts of common folk people! Do hope this piece of crap host bar owner has fun behind bars and my guess he will not try this again, if he has any brains. As far as i know, the old guy was just roughed up a bit but nothing life threatening, but any stupid young guy or woman who hurts older people or children etc..is just lower than scum in my book. By the way, not only JAPANESE get drunk, stupid and violent, unless you are living in a different universe, the last time I checked anybody of ANY race can get drunk, stupid and violent, right??

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Respect to the cab driver! He didn't retaliate nor back off. Luckily he wasn't injured too seriously though that little girl was throwing some pretty weak punches.

1 ( +4 / -4 )

"Club boss"... big time misleading btw..

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

that "club boss" seems to lacking in the manhood department as well as those who are giggling in the background. why else would these "tough guys" pick on an elderly and weaker man? sick.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The way these punks speak is barely understandable and I couldn't pick up half of it. But I'm wondering if, in arranging for a supposedly-drunk woman to be led out of the restaurant by the taxi driver, the gangsters running the bar were looking to set the taxi driver up using some kind of false accusation. They then exploded in anger when the taxi man smelled a rat and refused to take his "customer". Imagine how the taxi driver must have felt, being beaten by this human garbage and knowing that retaliating would put him in even more trouble!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Why taxi driver refuses to do his job!? I might not agree with the methods, but some of em are utterly rude and well deserve a beating

-13 ( +4 / -16 )

Saw the video, and I must say the cab driver showed a lot of restraint. Not sure of his condition, but I would have at least struck back, but I guess it is the policy of the cab company to tell them not to resist. They must see plenty of cases like that.

that "club boss" seems to lacking in the manhood department as well as those who are giggling in the background. why else would these "tough guys" pick on an elderly and weaker man? sick.

I agree 100%!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

where the link for youtube.... I wanna see

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I’d be interested to see what punishment he’s dealt with. JT - could you please keep us posted?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The guy taping is not only giggling, he's telling the other guy in the cap who's trying to get the "boss" to stop, "It's okay, it's okay, let him do his thing." (いいんだよ、いいんだよ、やらしとけばいいんだ。) That's almost as despicable as the guy doing the hiting.

15 ( +15 / -1 )

Towada is Yak infested and he'll be out in a day if not already, with no punishment. Why would the cops want to cut into their under-the-table holiday bonuses by busting their closest friends?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I give credit to the guy who made the video, not the police. Granted, it's great that they actually arrested the man and while he'll likely only pay a fine, I hope he is punished, but really if the video and response weren't so condemning it's likely the person who committed the assault would not have been pursued at all. As for combing over the video and working to identify who the assaulter was, wouldn't it have been just as easy to say, "the owner of the bar"?

Hope the driver is okay.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Forget the police, he should have gone to the media with this and got paid.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I give credit to the guy who made the video, not the police.

From what I saw and heard on the video, I really doubt the guy taping had any altruistic motive in keeping the tape running (so to speak) or posting it oline. He was obviously enjoying himself immensely.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

This club guy seriously needs a good beat down inside.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Towada is Yak infested and he'll be out in a day if not already, with no punishment. Why would the cops want to cut into their under-the-table holiday bonuses by busting their closest friends?

Towada? You must be joking, its a shuttered up ghost town with no money in circulation outside of farming. Spend a day and a night there and you'll get lockjaw from yawning. These punks aren't yaks, wannabe chimpira at best. Hope the twit on the phone gets a beating from his mates for uploading to u tube.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@smithin japan

If you read the article again you will see that the guy who made the video did it because he thought the episode was funny.

The cigarette-sucking patron recording the argument, chuckling with amusement as the old man is berated, then leaves his seat and follows the group outside to capture more of the uncomfortable scene.

He didn't do it to get the club owner arrested, he did it for his amusement. So, whilst it's good that he recorded the beating, I wouldn;t be so quick to offer him "credit"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That kind of thing is not gangster where I come from. You get no stripes for hitting old men.

If you haven't seen the video, it's much tamer than described. It's all slaps, no punches. The guy who does it is typically skinny, with too many layers of clothes and long pointy shoes. Gangsters like this can only exist in this population.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Spudmanreincarnated, you seem to know so much about Towada. I've lived in this "ghost town" for 8 years and haven't gotten lockjaw from yawning yet!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I've lived in this "ghost town" for 8 years and haven't gotten lockjaw from yawning yet!

Ronald, bet you spend a lot of time on the computer!

Where would you go for live music, or dancing. Shopping center in Towada? Check the population figures man, is withering away. Can't deny it's mainly shutters, can you?

8 years, congratulations but your boredom threshold must be very high.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Typical weak man syndrome - pick on someone smaller and weaker.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Justice should be served to the poor old cabbie. My heart melt when i saw the video. I thought that this sotb fellow respect older people in this country.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I can help but feel that if there was no reaction online to this video the police wouldn't have even done anything.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Stephen KnightNOV. 12, 2012 - 09:32AM JST "It's okay, it's okay, let him do his thing." (いいんだよ、いいんだよ、やらしとけばいいんだ。)

he should be identified as well (wink wink)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Takes serious balls to beat up a man like that. And by "serious balls" I mean balls the size of soggy edamame.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

jessebay:

" can help but feel that if there was no reaction online to this video the police wouldn't have even done anything. "

Well, that is obvious, since in that case the police would not KNOW about it. I am all game for criticizing the J-cops, but this accusation is groundless.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

cierzo98:

" If you read the article again you will see that the guy who made the video did it because he thought the episode was funny: The cigarette-sucking patron recording the argument, chuckling with amusement as the old man is berated, then leaves his seat and follows the group outside to capture more of the uncomfortable scene. "

This is a host bar. Why are you assuming the patron in a host bar would be man??

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

beat up and old man???? WTF???? LOSER!!!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I agree with Alex Einz, most cab drivers are blattantly rude, and especially when one is in a hurry or in need of quick assistance they drag and brag. The man in the video went a lil too far though.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

At least the daft b@stards were idiotic enough to video themselves.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Where is this watering hole exactly? Maybe I should pay him a visit next time I visit Japan

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Pathetic excuse of a human being. both the guy in the hat and the gimp behind the camera need a good slap.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

TheDevilsAssistantNOV. 12, 2012 - 02:12PM JST Where is this watering hole exactly? Maybe I should pay him a visit next time I visit Japan

yes please. and make sure you capture it in 720p HD x264 as the one uploaded was pretty bad quality...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Where is this watering hole exactly? Maybe I should pay him a visit next time I visit Japan

http://2chnode.com/archives/60634.html

knock yourself out

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I saw this and was sickened by it. The guy who took the video did nothing to stop it and thought it was funny. Perhaps he posted it thinking is was "cool". The poor taxi driver. Why, however, didn't he go and report it??? Are more drivers being abused and not saying anything?

Yes, safety Japan... Gets worse everyday it seems.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Easy to find video on Youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUk3f95N8wU&feature=youtube_gdata_player

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As always nobody stops the guy though. I am glad that the guy was arrested though.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sadly enough these scums are all over the world!! Just on YouTube and it is just horrible! So much violence and the one good thing is that these fools have the brains to tape these crimes and upload them to the Internet so they can be arrested!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hatakeyama needs to be slapped upside the head and knocked to the ground.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Undeniably speaking, in America this would result in a shooting. Japan is a very safety country and perhaps this is just a miscommunication problem.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Not Yaks. If they were yaks, then that guy with the smartphone would have been stopped first by the "boss's" cronies. Even STUPID yaks know that they shouldn't be taped committing assaults.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Hey, folks. The perp is a typical infantile drunk who was losing face in front of his kohai peeps (including the drunken girl) and let the alcohol fuel his growing humiliation. If the kohai hadn't been watching, the escalation likely would have been less or not happened at all.

The kohai (#1 interfering; #2 w/camera) obviously were drunk too, with #1 trying to stop him because it was blatantly wrong, but at the same time needing to avoid offending a senpai. Kohai #2 started out on a lark following along with the camera, but as it escalated also realized it was going bad, yet too, he didn't want to get on the bad side of the senpai. The "iiyo, iiyo, etc." comments weren't made out of any sense of approval or fun, but were telling his fellow kohai it's better not to interfere with the senpai as it's just making things worse.

The taxi driver was not really in any physical danger, but it escalated far more than anyone expected and beyond anyone's comfort level. The driver, being sober, not reacting, keeping to the high ground, etc, was in the absolute right and knew it. It didn't matter if the police were called or not, the perp lost face because he lost control and beat up an old man who had done him no harm, was clearly no threat to him, and who was in all ways in the right. That loss of face is the perp's real punishment, far greater than any monetary fine. Socially, he is marked as weak, infantile and cruel. After the national public outcry, the perp will never escape that; it will follow him for years in his public and private life. In a sense this was a display of power, yet in the Japanese social context, it is far more powerful to be the underdog, the victim to an aggressor. If he capitalizes on this, the taxi driver could ride it to fame and money; if he chooses to be humble, make no bones about it, let it go, he will be a respected hero in his social circles for the rest of his life.

I've seen slapping as hard from parent to child in homes and in public, and from teacher to child in the classroom, usually done to the top of the head. The first time I saw it, in 1988 in a girls' high school in Kyoto, it completely shocked me -- I had absolutely no idea what was happening. Over 25 years I saw it a lot, from friendly "love taps" to, rarely, really hard and vicious beatings. In many cases such actions are a display, intended for an audience, for the purpose of asserting and demonstrating the "amae" relationship. As a gentle love tap it marks the recipient "ko" (child/lower/weaker) as having pleased, or of being a special favorite of the administering "oya" (parent/upper/stronger) while asserting those relative positions. As punishment, the only difference is that is shows degrees of displeasure, from mild to extreme. The purpose of asserting and demonstrating the "amae" relationship remains the same.

To be fair, such a situation as this, happening in my own furusato in Texas, could have quickly escalated to fists, guns, blood and, likely, death. In society, it is always the stronger that get the kudos and the weak are reviled. In this particular area of culture, I much prefer Japan.

The video http://youtu.be/HUk3f95N8wU

The club (?) http://2chnode.com/archives/60634.html

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Greatly comforting news which showed the conscientious side of the netizens.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Juan U Love

Whew, that's a lot of supposition from one short article. When's the rest of the novel (or is it a sociology tract?) coming out? In the first place, the relationship between the parties involved--aside from the taxi driver--is far from clear; in the second, the guy with the camera was laughing the whole time--it certainly didn't sound as if ensuring a smooth future for his "sempai-kohai" relationship was foremost in his mind.

There is little about the psychology of bullying in Japan that couldn't also be said for the U.S. or anywhere else. The power play business, the wanting to preserve "face," the role of alcohol in the mix, it's all the same. (In the U.S., of course, you've also got to account for racial issues and the ready availability of deadly weapons.)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I definitely dont agree with the method, but I can 100% promise you that the situation was created by the taxi driver in the first place. He was called in to do a job and should have left if he couldnt , his refusal, and probably a rude refusal is what created the thing in the first place. Him not responding is a very typical response in Japan for someone clearly in the wrong.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Alex, taxi driver is not obligated to enter a private premises and aid an intoxicated passenger. Most drivers would refuse. You last sentence beggars belief, the old fella was outnumbered 5 or 6 to 1, that's why he kept his mouth shut.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I would seriously like to see this guy try that on any "gaijin" specially one of them BIG guys I see walking around shibuya or shinjuku. He would think twice about trying to hit anyone. Good to see he got caught, but I don't know about the "CLUB BOSS" statement. Was he really the club boss?!!? He looked more like a hired punk who has no other qualifications than to talk to girls by spewing BS out of his mouth. But then again you get crap going into those clubs so it wouldn't be too hard to sweet to girls of that quality. He is an ass for doing what he did and deserves every little thing he gets. I mean all he had to do is call the cab company and complain and I am sure that another driver would have been there in minutes. Someone really needs to give this clown a beat down in order for him to get down to earth and get off his high horse. Hope the law does not just let him off with a warning and fine at least make him spend some time in Jail to reflect on his actions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@TheDevilsAssistant

Where is this watering hole exactly? Maybe I should pay him a visit next time I visit Japan

Let me know and I'll join you for a drink...

Few things disturb me more than someone picking on the weak (elderly, kids or animals). Sometimes all it takes is a passing individual to raise his voice or step in to defuse the situation. Being a big guy myself, I'm normally the kind of person to step in (unless it clearly presents a danger even to me).

In fact earlier this year I seen a younger guy hitting an older man as he tried to defend himself on a station platform. All of the Japanese just stood and watched. I stepped in and yelled at the guy to stop. The younger guy turned his attention to me and tried to act tuff. When he noticed I wasn't going to back down he left. I don't know the situation but from what I observed it seemed to be an old man who drank a little too much and somehow made the younger guy angry.

I think the Taxi Driver handled the situation the best he could. He knew if he fought back it would only agitate the situation even more. Perhaps causing the punk to inflict serious bodily harm or someone else to join in on the beat down.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, that is obvious, since in that case the police would not KNOW about it. I am all game for criticizing the J-cops, but this accusation is groundless.

What im saying willi B if the reaction wasn't AS BIG. If it was uploaded to any video sharing site and only got say... 100 hits... I doubt the cops would have done anything.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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