crime

Man arrested for allegedly suffocating 9-month-old son

43 Comments

Tochigi prefectural police said Monday they have arrested a 28-year-old man for allegedly suffocating his 9-month-old son in his Utsunomiya apartment on March 15.

According to Sankei Shimbun, the man has been identified as Ryota Harada, a 28-year-old civil servant. He was arrested in Chiba City where he now lives. Harada was quoted by police as saying that he became enraged because the baby wouldn't stop crying, Sankei reported.

Harada allegedly suffocated the boy with a blanket at around 6 a.m. on March 15 and dialed the police emergency number immediately afterward. The boy’s body showed no immediate signs of abuse, police said. They gave no explanation as to why it took so long to press charges, Sankei reported.

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43 Comments
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Effing great!! Here I am feeding my 3 week old baby and then I stumble upon this... Way to go, incompetent/corrupted/useless/good-for-nothing japanese cops... Now I know why my fellow posters call you KEYSTONES!

YOU ARE NOTHING BUT A JOKE!! another infant is murdered and all you can do is dicking around handing out mere "suspended sentences" huh

How shameful is to me to be a national of a country that has no RESPECT for human life, especially CHILD human life..

A country that cares more about world image and how to boost the yen than creating better laws to protect its future generations. How horrible to read this kind of article so often... nothing is changing apparently!

What an utter DISGRACE!! (once again..)

3 ( +11 / -8 )

these kind of stories sadly, do not shock me anymore. But they do make me feel incredibly sad.

Where was the mother? Was he a single father?

As a single mother here in Japan I can totally understand (but never condone) that feeling of "WHY wont you just STOP crying?!" and the frustration that comes with it ... but ... to do this? Is ... insanity. It sounds like the guy just snapped...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

all you can do is dicking around handing out mere "suspended sentences" huh

The police do not hand out any sentences, suspended or otherwise. They just catch the bad guys. Here, they caught a bad guy.

The boy’s body showed no immediate signs of abuse

... and if they had arrested the parent immediately and it turned out to be just another case of cot death we would have posters telling us what a disgrace that was, too.

If you want to feel upset, feel upset at the no-good father who killed his own baby, not at the people who caught him. (Better still, leave reading the disturbing articles and feeling upset until later - not good vibes for your little one...)

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Death penalty for child killers....PLEASE! Stop with the sympathy and lenient sentencing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@cleo

The police do not hand out any sentences, suspended or otherwise.

Ooppss, my bad, I failed to specify that. The CORRUPTED SCUM "judges" are the ONES responsible for handing out those joke sentences. Actually encouraging people to keep committing crimes because they KNOW they won't go to prison, and when they actually do is for 2~3 years...

The cops in general are extremely incompetent nonetheless.. (save for a few real good officers, like in every country)

They just catch the bad guys. Here, they caught a bad guy. Indeed...but after 6 months? (-_-)

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Death penalty for child killers....PLEASE! Stop with the sympathy and lenient sentencing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They won't, my friend....Here a child's life is less than a pet's, apparently. Dogs and Cats are treated way better than infants in some places it seems to me. Funny how they would sentence me to 1.5 years in prison if I steal something but if I kill my child I'd be given a suspended sentence being a first timer and all.... makes you wonder..

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I've always wondered how all the married couples who are not blessed with a child think, when they hear about these incidents.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Where was the mother? Was he a single father?

Yes, according to the NHK news yesterday, he was a single father.

Can anyone point me to a case where someone was handed a suspended sentence for killing a child? That kind of thing seems to come up so often in the comments here, but I don't recall seeing any cases where that happened- are there really that many?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The CORRUPTED SCUM "judges" are the ONES responsible for handing out those joke sentences.

The word "corrupted" suggests you think someone is bribing them to hand out lenient sentences to people who kill children, which is hard to imagine.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

These child murders are occuring much too often, the statute makers have to start imposing the same penalties accorded to those who perpetuate the same henious crime against adults.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Apsara T

The word "corrupted" suggests you think someone is bribing them to hand out lenient sentences to people who kill children, which is hard to imagine.

Aspara, CORRUPTION is not only about someone bribing them under the tables, they are corrupted because they do as they are told, they perpetuate the STATUS QUO. I've known judges who, on the other hand, have never handed out a no-guilty conviction in their 20 or 30 years. The japanese judiciary system is indeed corrupted and works against the common civilian, moreover, the japanese judicial system laws are designed to protect the big corporations and businesses. It's a FACT!!!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I shoudn't be revealing this but, the mother and father were separated in February and got divorced in June. The father was taking care of this 9 month old son and his brother who is 2 years old.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

God! What an a**hole!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

BlueWitch, I can not agree with you more.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Thanks CrazyJoe. That poor poor baby. It's beyond tragic. So the parents got divorced. The whole 'if Japan had joint custody laws this might have never happened' thought rears it's head with me again. I mean, I don't know the circumstances of this couple's divorce. The mother might have walked off through her own accord but, I know personally so many Japanese and foreigners who have been shut out in the cold after a divorce. I think single parents rock bigtime. I know how hard it can be to look after kids all day and I'm not single. Hubby does come home at some point. It is an absolute tragedy and travesty when a child suffers because a single parent reaches the end of their tether or cannot be bothered to look after said child. Especially when there is another parent who is dying a little every day because they have been shut out of their child's life. Kids ideally need two parents. And I am sure that most single parents never began with the idea to end up as a single parent. It's hardwork no matter how much you adore your children.

Change is needed and soon.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

No problem.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If i were u bluewitch and spoke the language and felt the same way(which i do) as you do, i´d be standing outside couthouses, police stations with ny friends who feel the sane protesting and shaming them with the same strong language you use in your posts. I really hope you do that after your kids grow up and have time to do so. I will come from Nag to join you once a month!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Thank You, Yuri... As I stated in a previous post before...I suffered the most excruciating pain to bring each one of my 4 children into this world...and then some "people" take less than a few minutes to erase the life out of a child... These people are NOT people, these are subhumans filled with so much smegma and scum... yuck~ You and Me.. we are humans, they are NOT! A normal human being with common sense wouldn't torture/murder a defenseless child, period!

Rest in peace little baby, if only you were here with me so I could cuddle you in my arms... (-_-)

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

First time I hear of a dad having child custody and not the mom in Japan, in both, Japaneses and mixed families.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Okay this case is pretty deep. We all see the monster. This guy needs to be put away.

But wait.....we can't put ourselves in his shoes and we wouldn't want to so there leaves only speculation.

What was happening? Where did all this anger come from? What pressure was he under? Are WE....yes...WE.....somehow responsible for this? (you don't want to answer that) (not us).

Even if he was a single father.....there are questions. Education for single fathers? Support for single mothers and fathers? Daycare? Family? Friends? Job? Tax Breaks? Economic Support?

All of those things have "WE" on it.

I'm not condoning what he did. I'm just trying to imagine what takes a normal person who's trying to do what's right into an enraged frenzy where he kills his own child. You can imagine the pain that set in after it was over. When the fire stopped and he say what he had done.

It's the Hulk, the monster that reared his ugly face, left unchecked without support destroyed the life of his child and his own.

Lots of questions here. Cases like these force us to look at this society. We're reading it, but are Japanese reading this. Do they publicly blog as we do. Opening up forums to discussion. Or is it just another topic over afternoon tea with cake? Immediately we can all feel better about ourselves. Japan is not to blame, or is it?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

First murder, a family member, non-violent death. The sentence will be light. He will be out in 5 to 10 years. So sad.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Education, people need to be taught what to expect when you have a baby, these deaths should not happen.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I hate seeing mothers yelling at their crying kids on the streets and threatening to leave them. Children need hugs and kisses and love. It really stops them from crying.

This man probably had a bad hangover, and just did not want to pick up the child. WHere was the mother?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

So, how many is that this month? 5? 6? I care not to remember too vividly.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

With respect Ihavegreatlegs but I have been one of those mothers on the street with a raised voice. I adore my children but one particular day with two toddlers who'd been in temper tantrum mode since 5am, my husband missing in action on constant overtime at work (I hadn't seen him for nearly one week!) and zero family support, I lost my temper for a moment and shouted at them. Do I feel good about it-no! And in the last 6 years, it has happened a few times. The reality of being a parent is very different than the cheesy commercials you see in magazines or adorning department store walls. It can be bloody tough and sheer hard slog. Of course, being blessed with my three and feeling very privileged to spend every day with them far outways any negative but before you judge a parent you come across in one moment of their life, take a look at what's been happening that morning. Or the last two days.

I am not talking about parents that systematically abuse kids here but I can understand how a parent under extreme and lasting duress could snap for one moment and do something terrible. I am not condoning it. I have never hit or hurt any of my children but I have been at that edge, looking down. I walked out of the room and had a major rant at the wall. I am not condoning what he did at all.

I agree with NetNinja totally. Child abuse is a new epidemic across the world. Cases where neighbours or family members later commented they knew something wasn't right but they didn't do anything to help or reported it to someone who could intervene. None of my neighbours have ever lifted a finger to check on me or help me out even though they knew I was basically alone 24/7 with 3 kids aged 4 and under. I spent practically one month 'entombed' in the house with 3 small kids going through various stages of chickenpox on summer. No-one knocked at my door to ask if we were okay although everyone knew we were sick. You get the old ladies harping on at you about your kid not wearing enough/too much clothes or a blob of snot on the end of your child's nose but actual real 'help'.

Communities are not what they used to be. People are too busy to notice other people. People who might be really struggling. People who are too proud to ask for help, don't know how to ask for help or are just so weighed down by it all cannot possibly see a light at the end of the tunnel.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I have nothing to say really. It breaks my heart every time I read another one of these reports.

Everyone knows how frustrating it can be when you are already exhausted and you have a crying child. But to cross the line from locking yourself in the bathroom for a few minutes/downing a largish glass of wine/calling a friend for help/ etc to actually physically hurting the child. That is where my sympathy for the father dies, regardless of his circumstances. Even in my darkest moments (and without going into details believe me, I have been through it all) I could never have comtemplated hurting my babies, not even for a second. Its not that baby`s fault his parents couldnt get their sh1t together. He didnt ask to be born.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I am in no way condoning what this man did but I think the stress from the quake and impending nuclear disaster might have played a part in his actions. It happened only after 4 days after March 11. I remember how exhausted I was. And I didn't have to take care of kids (only a husband!) nor did I have to go to work.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It's so sad that a child died, and it's even sadder to see that MAYBE his father MIGHT be guilty of killing his son.

However I will not crucify any suspect in the court of public opinion. It's sad as well to see people here that are willing to find him guilty and execute him for an alleged incident. The cops are going to have a heck of a time with any forensic evidence as the baby's body was more than likely cremated and the cause of death by asphyxiation could have happened from any number of reasons.

The only way the cops can honestly convict the guy is through his own confession and him just saying that he became enraged because the baby wouldn’t stop crying is not enough to convict him. Also the police have some explaining to do as well why they waited 6 months to charge the guy in the first place.

Unless of course the guy broke down and confessed, but that has not been reported so far either so it's pure speculation. This comment here as well needs further explanation too...The boy’s body showed no immediate signs of abuse, police said. Somethings no quite kosher about that, were their signs later?

If the guys guilty? Put him into the darkest cave in the deepest place on earth, never let him see the light of day ever again in his life and have him work making small rocks out of bigger one's. Prolong his life in torment, continue to give him hope and take it away, leave him in dis pare and darkness and toy with him until he dies a slow and painful natural death.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yubaro! Are you out of your mind? What does this statement mean? - Harada was quoted by police as saying that he became enraged because the baby wouldn’t stop crying, - So he smothered it!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Sometimes its best for an adult who is overwhlemed to ensure the baby is safe, then walk away for a short while and cool down.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Nicky Washida

I have nothing to say really. It breaks my heart every time I read another one of these reports.

Everyone knows how frustrating it can be when you are already exhausted and you have a crying child. But to cross the line from locking yourself in the bathroom for a few minutes/downing a largish glass of wine/calling a friend for help/ etc to actually physically hurting the child. That is where my sympathy for the father dies, regardless of his circumstances. Even in my darkest moments (and without going into details believe me, I have been through it all) I could never have comtemplated hurting my babies, not even for a second. Its not that baby`s fault his parents couldnt get their sh1t together. He didnt ask to be born.

It's just so frustrating that these mental jobs can't get proper care so they end up murdering their children instead.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I still have faith in you Japan, for one bad person, there are 1000 good ones.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Disillusioned, I can read, and if you can as well the article title even says Man arrested for allegedly suffocating 9-month-old son.

If they had written he had confessed to the crime it's one thing, but it doesn't now does it. I am not going to sit here and convict a person purely based upon what cops, particularly J-cops, say that any alleged suspect may or may not have said to them.

The article also says that there were no immediate signs of abuse, whatever that truly means. Cops here get the majority of their convictions by getting their suspects to confess their crimes, real or imagined. It is also not unheard of here for people to be wrongly convicted. He very well could have said he was upset, frustrated, or even angry at the child and the cops choose to word it differently too. I've filed police reports here and you'd be surprised at the wording the police use to describe things.

It's possible too that the Dad here tossed a blanket over the child in the hope that he would quiet down and it ended up being and accident, who knows? BUT I am not going to trust the J-police to accurately report things particularly 6 months after the fact too.

How long did the cops have Dad in custody? How was he treated? Did they even tape his testimony?

Everyone is so willing to judge because a small baby died. Yes that is truly tragic and the saddest part of it all, and I'll bet Dad is hurting too inside, if he is any kind of human that is. BUT we don't have enough information to make a truly educated opinion on what happened now do we?

Are you so willing to send someone to the gallows for allegedly killing someone with no evidence other than they supposedly said they were enraged because the baby wouldn't shut up?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Not sure why they took so long to arrest him, but it appears he has confessed, so よかった to the police for rooting out the true cause of the child's death. @BlueWitch, the child was already dead, so how fast or how slow the police were working on the case wasn't as important as whether they actually still WERE working on the case. With no apparent abuse, it would have been all too easy to chalk this up a something similar to SIDS and close the case.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

you know what i find funny is that the only japanese here (BlueWitch and YuriOtani) are the one telling how it's in the other hand the gaijin here are the one defending what is going on everyday here in japan, no wonder japan never change if we have some gaijin looking the other way and telling "but that happend in other country" sad just sad!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Yubaru

Put him into the darkest cave in the deepest place on earth, never let him see the light of day ever again in his life and have him work making small rocks out of bigger one's. Prolong his life in torment, continue to give him hope and take it away, leave him in dis pare and darkness and toy with him until he dies a slow and painful natural death.

My sentiments exactly....I'd gladly volunteer to be his tormentor and make his life hell on earth...and then some.

@Fadamor

@BlueWitch, the child was already dead, so how fast or how slow the police were working on the case wasn't as important as whether they actually still WERE working on the case. With no apparent abuse, it would have been all too easy to chalk this up a something similar to SIDS and close the case.

Good point there, my friend...although the probability of this baby dying of SIDS is like 1 in 100,000? Then again we have the gross incompetency of the cops using REAL/AUTHENTIC evidence like DNA,print, fluids,etc. Why not joining the rest of the world and do some real police work? All they rely on and expect is people to confess... How frustrating!!! Yes, they probably cremated the baby's body, but I wonder if they collected DNA samples first? Knowing how incompetent/useless they are typically, probably they forgot. 悔しいーぃ (>_<)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

unfortunately that us most likely what happened blue witch. i don't want to sound rude or mean, but the Japanese police, especially from what i have seen in the past. are almost completely useless when it comes to situations like this or something similar

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the probability of this baby dying of SIDS is like 1 in 100,000?

More like 1 in less than 2,000. From Wiki - SIDS was responsible for 0.543 deaths per 1,000 live births in the US in 2005. It is responsible for far fewer deaths than congenital disorders and disorders related to short gestation, though it is the leading cause of death in healthy infants after one month of age.

Then again we have the gross incompetency of the cops using REAL/AUTHENTIC evidence like DNA,print, fluids,etc. Why not joining the rest of the world and do some real police work?

The baby showed no signs of abuse, and was sent for autopsy where all the relevant samples would be taken. Though what would DNA samples prove? That the father touched his own baby?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

father snapped, tempory insanity ENOUGH SAID

Move on next story

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

(BlueWitch) the probability of this baby dying of SIDS is like 1 in 100,000?

(Cleo) More like 1 in less than 2,000. From Wiki - SIDS was responsible for 0.543 deaths per 1,000 live births in the US in 2005.

The most recent data for Japan I can find from the World Health Organization is from 2009 and isn't specifically SIDS, but ANY mortality between birth and age 1:

Infant mortality rate (probability of dying between birth and age 1 per 1000 live births): 2

So babies in Japan have a 1 in 500 chance of reaching their first birthday, but I'm not sure if this number includes homicides and legitimate accidents.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

DOH! A 1 in 500 chance of NOT reaching their first birthday. BIG difference!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ BlueWitch. You obviously feel very passionate, as I do about the whole issue. Unfortunately, the cases we read about here on JT concern children that can tragically no longer be saved. Forums around the world are full of wonderful people with passion and big hearts. Maybe now it's the time to direct that anger, sadness and disgust into action. We can't bring those children back but we can be vigilant and ensure that action is taken when we see something that doesn't seem right or blatantly isn't right. All this emotion isn't helping children who are in danger even as I type this. We can use all those emotions and turn them into positive and proactive action in real life. You never know, you might save a life or stop a parent snapping and another tragedy unfolds.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Funny, I give some pretty well-kown advice for adults to avoid losing their own tempers when an infant is inconsolable, and get rated down.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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