crime

Man arrested after pushing over woman and her 2 children on bicycle

69 Comments

Police in Neyagawa, Osaka Prefecture, have arrested a 29-year-old unemployed man on suspicion of assault after he pushed a woman and two her children off their bicycle onto the side of a road.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 4:55 p.m. on May 28, Sankei Shimbun reported. Police said the 36-year-old woman was riding with her two children aged 6 and 1, along a sidewalk when Kentaro Watanabe deliberately pushed her onto the road.

A passerby reported the incident to a nearby koban (police box). Watanabe was arrested at the scene. Police said he has denied the charge and quoted him as saying, “I just bumped into the bicycle going by me. It was not intentional.”

The woman and her children sustained minor injuries to their arms and legs.

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69 Comments
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Another random violent crime.

More and more frequent.

-8 ( +12 / -20 )

The law states only children under 5 can be carried on the cycle; so the woman is being prosecuted as well I assume?

Follow all the rules, or follow none. Take your pick.

0 ( +24 / -24 )

Another random violent crime.

More and more frequent.

Every single crime report on JT is your "proof" crime is getting "more and more frequent "

Fortunately the crime statistics show your thought bubble is wildly incorrect.

Glad the mother and kids were OK.

-8 ( +10 / -18 )

Glad the passerby didn't let this slide. Is time like these that we need to look out for each other.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

Bad journalism Jt .... Shouldn't it be

' man arrested after being accused of pushing over a cyclist , apparently riding illegally on the sidewalk'

???

He has denied the allegations which have not been proved against him and it does appear she was riding illegally on the sidewalk.

-6 ( +14 / -20 )

it does appear she was riding illegally on the sidewalk.

By what law?

-3 ( +17 / -20 )

I've seen these many women on their mamachari going fast on the side walk, kids on bored. They are a nuisance.

9 ( +20 / -11 )

@samurai, is it illegal to ride on the sidewalk in Osaka? That’s the norm in Aichi. And apparently it appeared intentional, enough that a witness contacted the police.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

For all we know he may have bumped into them. You know what Japanese cops are like, and anyone who’s lived here long enough will know how some of these mothers ride their bikes with no regard to the kids they’ve got all over them, like theye indestructible

5 ( +15 / -10 )

No reason for assault but I will say, those mother's and their mamacharis with kids blazing around think they own the sidewalk. Least considerate cyclists in the country.

Cyclists in general here suck majorly.

8 ( +17 / -9 )

"It is against the law to cycle with a passenger in Japan, with the exception of children under 6 years old" *

"In the event of an accident between a cyclist and a pedestrian, the cyclist bears the bulk of the responsibility"

cycling-embassy.jp/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Handbook_English_Web_final.pdf

"According to Japan’s traffic law, cyclists aged 16 or over can carry up to two children at once. This could be two kids aged five or less...."

savvytokyo.com/a-guide-to-cycling-in-tokyo-with-kids

"In general, riding on sidewalks is only for under 13-year-olds, those over 70 or the disabled"

en.japantravel.com/guide/cycling-rules/58088

"In Japan, it is possible for you to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk if there is a road sign or other signpost indicating to do so. If there is no signpost, only children under 13 years old are allowed to ride on the sidewalk."

jpninfo.com/76265

"Carrying a passenger (over the age of 6) or riding in tandem with another bicycle promises to fetch you a fine of up to 20,000 Yen."

"Currently it is compulsory for all children under 13 to wear a helmet while cycling, even if they are a passenger on an adults bicycle."

www.tokyobybike.com/2009/02/of-bicycle-laws-in-japan-and-other.html

More:

www.japancycling.org/v2/info/biking.shtml

japantoday.com/category/features/kuchikomi/violators-beware-police-finally-put-some-teeth-in-cycling-laws

10 ( +17 / -7 )

Good for the passerby, these kind of people should be isolated from the community until someone can be made responsible for their actions.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

The crime supercedes the violation, but go ahead and blame the victim, i know it makes you and others feel better.

3 ( +13 / -10 )

oldman_13 - Another random violent crime.

Against someone who can’t fight back, of course.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Strangerland

Riding on the sidewalk in Japan is illegal under Japanese road traffic law. How do I know? Well , I took my big bike license and for some reason, it came up in one of the lectures we had to take about general road rules.

It is illegal. Just because you didn't know doesn't make it legal. Ever heard the term ' ignorance is no excuse' ?

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Randomland

It may we'll have been intentional. I have problem with that. The problem is here that JT have already decided it was intentional without the alleged crime being proven. It is mere accusation at the moment. He probably did push her but journalism is supposed to tell the facts, not make them up.

Yes it is illegal, anywhere in Japan. Everyone does it, even the cops, but it is illegal

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Of course one shouldn’t resort to violence, but most women ferrying their kids lately do so on battery powered bicycles, on the side walk, and some do so at breakneck speed, which can be startling to unsuspecting pedestrians.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Strictly speaking it is against the law to use the sidewalk while on a bicycle unless the sidewalk has a bicycle specific lane. It is merely condoned, since bicycling on the road can be a scary experience. According to the cops, if you’re scared using the road, you can instead use the side walk while exercising care etc. etc.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

it does appear she was riding illegally on the sidewalk.

I haven't seen anything that indicates she wasn't allowed to be on the sidewalk she was on.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

I thought it was just Tokyo where mothers and fathers blaze down the bike path, I mean sidewalk.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

@moonwatcher

"The crime supercedes the violation, but go ahead and blame the victim, i know it makes you and others feel better."

The ALLEGED crime. By your logic, it's ok to do something in violation of a law, so long as someone else does something "worse" ???

This isn't about feeling better, it's about this one incident that happened one day, when hundreds of times during the same day, cycle laws are broken with impunity, inconveniencing pedestrians and creating risk for all parties.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Forget the guy, just riding on those heavy contraptions with two children is plain stupid. I'd rather carry children on a tricycle. This is like the sort of image you see in a developed country where they pile on the whole family onto one moped.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

@Strangerland:

"it does appear she was riding illegally on the sidewalk."

I haven't seen anything that indicates she wasn't allowed to be on the sidewalk she was on.

She was riding with a 6 year old, which is not legal. She should not have been there in the first place.

This isn't "blaming the victim", that is when the victim is INNOCENT. If I'm sat in a park and someone shoots me, it's really unfair to say it's my fault, but if I take a 4 foot sword to that park and start attacking people, and someone shoots me, it may be fair to say that I kinda brought it upon myself.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Unemployed man attacks woman and children, JT posters blame the woman.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

Wait for the woman to play the “I have CHILDREN so my life, and theirs, automatically take precedence over yours” card.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

It’s illegal to ride a bicycle on the footpath unless there are those round blue signs with a picture of a bicycle. Pretty basic for anybody to understand.

Great thing in this story. A stranger helped.

These mothers are crazy, ride very fast and sometimes go though red lights. My advice to them is to make sure their kids wear helmets.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

I've seen these many women on their mamachari going fast on the side walk, kids on bored. They are a nuisance.

Yes, they are a nuisance. But, being a nuisance should not be punishable by assault, leading to physical injury and possibly death of innocent children who had nothing to do with their mother's decision to have them "on bored". (The correct term is "on board", btw.)

7 ( +10 / -3 )

I agree you should not blame the victim. I would like to point out that a related issue is the high speed that electric bikes with parents and children have seemed to take over sidewalks leaving no place for pedestrians. I guess it will take a big accident like hitting and killing an elderly pedestrian before anything is done. In that case the cyclist should be ready for jail time.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Many people in Japan are not aware of the laws regulating cycling, they just follow what other people do. Ironically, if you know and follow the law, you can end up in some dangerous situations – imagine some cars not following the traffic rules and driving randomly.

People do use sidewalks a lot and even the narrow ones which should not be used unless the bicycle is walked. Many times they pass pedestrians super close at high speed, this is very dangerous for everyone involved. Empirically, mothers on the big and heavy mamachari are by far the worst offenders, high speeds, sidewalks, going though interjections without stopping, even dashing through red lights—absolutely don't understand how they can behave in such way with children on the bike.

My reaction to the article: I don't like the bias in Japan of emphasizing “unemployed man”, this by default makes people see him as a weirdo and probably a bad person of some sort. If he really pushed them, he’s an a**hole, no doubts. But I also see how the mother just passed him very close, maybe he did a step aside (happened to me few times) and almost got hit by the bike passing near him. Just saying… objective reporting…

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Some of the comments are as deranged as this guy. Even if she was not supposed to be on the sidewalk, or one kid was too old, or you find these bikes overloaded with kids annoying. None of that justifies pushing her into traffic.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Another brain snap with another excuse.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The guy was an idiot. Nuff said.

The mamacharis though, are a nuisance because they are pedal assist and the riders cycle way to quickly and inconsiderately. They’re known as “Mamachari-gangsters” amongst my Japanese friends here in Tokyo.

I wouldn’t want the kids to have to ride on a main street and definitely don’t want them in a car for a school run.

Seems sensible to limit the speed of those things mechanically and make sure they’re on cycle lanes where they have them. If they’re not carrying kids, they should be in the street not sidewalk.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Guy is an arsshole either way. Shouldn't push the stupd mother with the kids whatever she was at fault or not.

I know sometimes I'm tempted to loose my temper and kick or push those retrded mamacharies who follow no rules, but common sense and emphaty alleys prevails. And it should. Those small kids have no fault and always think of them first.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The most dangerous people on the road are cycling mothers with kids in tow, especially around 830 am or 330 pm., or whenever the preschools open and close.

I often feel like giving them a shove, altho I know I'd be the one the cops would persecute, regardless of whatever traffic violation the women would be committing at the time.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

She was riding with a 6 year old, which is not legal.

It is if it's a sidewalk that allows cycling.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

It's depressing to see so many people focusing on what cycling issue they can possibly pin on the victims rather than just be glad that the mother and children are okay, and the suspect has been apprehended.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

It is if it's a sidewalk that allows cycling.

That's one of the points being argued here.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Strangerland "It is if it's a sidewalk that allows cycling."

No. No it is not. Please do some research.

-

@Chelsea, of course we're glad she's ok. of course the guy who allegedly pushed her is a dick. That's not up for debate. What should be discussed is the issue that a "witness" said they saw something, which lead to the arrest (presumably with no further evidence) of the man, which the woman who was defiantly committing an offence at the time, gets away with it.

-

Why are people unable to recognise the difference between an actual offence (riding with a 6 year old) and an alleged offence based on a "witness" ?

6 ( +10 / -4 )

It does not matter if she did or did not have the right to ride on the pavement! The point is, you do not cause physical injury to anyone! If you do not like what she is doing, report it to the Police.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

It does not matter if she did or did not have the right to ride on the pavement! The point is, you do not cause physical injury to anyone! If you do not like what she is doing, report it to the Police.

So long as both offences are handled correctly according to the law, yes.

If I drive my car with no insurance, and someone crashes into me while I'm stopped at a stoplight, do I get away with not having insurance as it wasn't my fault? No, of course not. I'd be prosecuted for not being insured, they would be prosecuted for negligent/reckless driving.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

For everyone comparing minor bicycle violations (which the police never enforce) to violently pushing a mother and her babies onto the road, please get a life.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

There is no justification to push a mother and her children into the road of course. This is a crime.

However bicycles on the road, where is no sidewalk, are also an annoyance. When I was driving my car in evening during rain, I noticed a bicycle, without lights, moving on but always a bit to right to the middle, again a bit to left, clearly unstable - it was a mother with a child, in one hand she had a mobile phone talking and in the other hand holding the handle bar and an umbrella. Totally irresponsible person.

Police should fine such people and bicycle riders should be obliged to register their bicycle and sign up for an accident insurance.

In case of an accident I would be in trouble, as this is my fault - while driving a car I have to pay attention to the road, especially during bad weather and night time...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

ChelseaToday 12:52 pm JST

It's depressing to see so many people focusing on what cycling issue they can possibly pin on the victims rather than just be glad that the mother and children are okay, and the suspect has been apprehended.

The problem is however that many people who are driving a car or are even walking, are considering bicycle riders as an annoyance and are really angry with them - as most riders plainly ignore any traffic rule and get away with it unpunished. They do not stop despite their traffic signal is red, they ride on the sidewalk unreasonably fast, hardly to see during night as they often have no lights, they have no insurance in case they damage something, they leave their bicycles just anywhere they like and are an obstacle for other people passing by to a railway station or entering a supermarket and so on - no consideration at all for people who do not ride a bicycle.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

We don’t know exactly how and what happened in this specific case. But in general it’s true, bicyclists and other bikers are everywhere the rudest participants in public traffic, not only in Japan. Maybe a lot more is missing with them on the roads, not only the two wheels less. lol

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The law regarding cycling was amended 3 or 4 years ago. In principal it bans riding on the sidewalk but in it's wording is a very vague clause saying something like "unless it would be dangerous to ride on the road". Which makes very little sense.

I'll try to find the actual legislation.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It is if it's a sidewalk that allows cycling.

Do you have any information leading you to this conclusion, or are you basing it off the lack of information n the article?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I’m asking genuinely because you have a lot of knowledge about Japan, and I’m curious to know whether the mother was breaking the law.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

MatToday  01:20 pm JST

@Strangerland "It is if it's a sidewalk that allows cycling."

No. No it is not. Please do some research.

Actually you aren't quite right Mat. 6 years old is the grey zone, as the law states exception for children under 6 but is prohibited for children over 6. My policeman friend told me this is to take into consideration children being ferried to kindergartens (some of whom will be 6 by the time they graduate) whereas it's normal for elementary students to walk to school on the designated route without their parents

Once they are at elementary school it's a legal no-no to ride on the back.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Bicycle Laws

http://www.japancycling.org/v2/info/biking.shtml

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As a person who drives to work, having to deal with bicycle riders of all ages (more than often with poor road manners is a daily routine. That includes the Uber Eats delivery people, BTW.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Seems no one is interested in the person charged with pushing the bike over

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Kniknaknokkaer

6 years old is the grey zone[...]

Grey-zones in Law. Great.

Here's what I can find:

なお、16歳以上の運転者が幼児用座席に6歳未満の子供を乗せて運転する状況では、例外的に2人乗りでの走行が認められています。基本的に2人乗りが認められるのは、大人と幼児の組み合せだけと覚えておくと、わかりやすいかもしれません。

From: https://jico-pro.com/magazine/50

The 未満 used is "less than, exclusive" so, 1,2,3,4 and 5 only. For "less than, inclusive", they'd use 以下.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Found it: https://www.bscycle.co.jp/news/notice/2020/8226

April 1st 2020 ammendment changing it from "below 6 years" to "until starting elementary school"

Thanks, Kniknaknokkaer good to know.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Hope they have some bouhan camera evidence to show that it was not just an accident as he says.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It does not matter if she did or did not have the right to ride on the pavement! The point is, you do not cause physical injury to anyone! If you do not like what she is doing, report it to the Police.

You’re presupposing the alleged perpetrator did this intentionally, which he has denied.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

oldman_13Today  06:40 am JST

Another random violent crime.

More and more frequent.

I feel what you feel regardless what statistics say

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I feel what you feel regardless what statistics say

Too many people nowadays don’t accept that their feelings don’t always reflect reality.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

MatToday  04:38 pm JST

Thanks, Kniknaknokkaer good to know.

You're welcome mate.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Honest question not meant to bait, irritate, or otherwise cause offense: Aren’t those of us criticizing the mother being culturally insensitive?

I fully understand that laws are driven by public policy, which is an expression of culture. I also fully understand that enforcement of laws is culturally driven.

What I don’t understand are the parameters of being culturally sensitive.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

ZaphodToday  04:39 pm JST

Hope they have some bouhan camera evidence to show that it was not just an accident as he says.

-1( +0 / -1 )

Agreed given Mr. Watanabe has been publicly identified. Not to mention the abundance of cameras in public places here.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sorry, but I’ll take looking out for mamacharis over negotiating the streets of North London any day. I have been almost wiped out and run down by college students & delivery guys with an attitude swooping and skipping thru crowds of people on London sidewalks that don’t have a bike lane.

I can also relate some near crash experiences while living in the Netherlands, although riders there are far more skilled in how they move along sidewalks. I suspect each of these nations and localities have laws governing the use of bikes on sidewalks, which their citizens ignore.

Japan is not alone in contending with bicycles on sidewalks and I’ll admit that while living in Kyoto I used to do what many locals did and frequently ride the sidewalks. Pedestrian frustration doesn’t justify in any sense putting the lives of toddlers at risk by reacting violently. For those that for some reason want to play ACLU and defend this guy, you should set up a GoFindMe page for him.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Mental Illness is real, and no one wants to accept that we have people ALL OVER THE WORK who are sick in the head. This guy has a serious problem that needs some attention.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Aren’t those of us criticizing the mother being culturally insensitive?

I would say just insensitive.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Pedestrians in this country unfortunately have no rights - the motorists and cyclists have seen to that. The disrespect is evident on a daily basis. I have nearly been wiped out on numerous occasions, just walking on the sidewalk - w a l k being the operative word! Cyclists continue to disregard every road rule available with absolute impunity.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The guy was an idiot. Nuff said.

The mamacharis though... (aaaaand another 70 or so words.)

You might wanna research what "Nuff said" means.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No. No it is not. Please do some research.

I did. Cycling on sidewalks that are marked as allowing it, is legal.

Do you have any information leading you to this conclusion, or are you basing it off the lack of information n the article?

Sure:

In Japan, it is possible for you to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk if there is a road sign or other signpost indicating to do so. If there is no signpost, only children under 13 years old are allowed to ride on the sidewalk. However, you can ride on the sidewalk when there are unavoidable circumstances due to traffic conditions, but you need to yield to pedestrians and be careful.

Link: https://jpninfo.com/76265

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

"deliberately pushed her onto the road."

why?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Saw a woman once on one of those baby carrying bicycles come inches from being crushed by a dump truck. She completely ignored the guy with the wand telling everyone else to stop and wait while the dump truck was reversing. These women drive like retards on those bikes, that would have been her own fault, and I bet in this Osaka case she either hit or came too close to the pedestrian causing the outrage.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Close call!? his words against hers, unless we have a VIDEO or CCT camera footage. Hope all doing well, the 1 years old could have had some serious injury.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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