crime

Man arrested for assaulting cabbie after fare goes up just as taxi stops

40 Comments

Police in Osaka have arrested a 33-year-old man on suspicion of assault after he head-butted a taxi driver over an argument concerning the fare.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday in Minami Ward. Sankei Shimbun said the suspect, Tomo Shinohara, a freelance photographer, got into an argument with the 67-year-old taxi driver after the meter rose another 80 yen as the taxi came to a halt. A dash camera inside the taxi showed Shinohara lean forward and head-butt the driver, then get out without paying any money at all. The total fare was 980 yen.

Shinohara, who turned himself in at a police station about one hour later, was quoted as saying he got annoyed when the meter jumped up another 80 yen just as the taxi came to a stop. Police said he was drunk at the time of his arrest.

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40 Comments
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"Police said he was drunk at the time of his arrest."

Let's see if he gets annoyed in prison. Nah, no time to think of that -- just headbutt anyone you get irritated with and don't think about the consequences.

Might be time to think about the plexiglass barrier in taxi cabs. With all the stabbings and kickings, beatings of taxi drivers these days, it might help.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

He might also find it better to walk next time....

8 ( +8 / -0 )

@Smith

"With all the stabbing a and lickings, beatings of taxi drivers these days, it might help."

Do you have any actual figures on the number of such assults? Is it really that bad or just seems that way from reading JT? If there are any statistics I would really like to see them, please post!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I've complained when I tell them to stop, and they roll forward an extended length until it clicks over. But I still pay - it's only 80 yen. It's the principle of the matter that bothers me.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Lucky he was drunk. slap on the wrist for 80 yen.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's the principle of the matter that bothers me.

Yeah - the principle of hardworking, underappreciated people simply trying to scrape up as many scraps as possible. I usually appreciate your posts, Stranger, but really.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

A fight over 80yen?? WTF? That's crazy... oh wait, he was 'drunk'... that explains everything. He'll get off with a warning.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Laguna - Disrespecting a passenger in that kind of way (especially as you know you'll probably never see them again) is not acceptable. Taxis in Osaka, Tokyo, etc. are not cheap in the slightest. The 980 yen journey here was probably only 2.5 km or something like that. Not exactly a tough drive, just about short enough to walk.

NOTE: I'm not saying the taxi driver in this case did it purposefully. And even if he did, it doesn't justify assault, but it's not right for taxi to try to cheat customers in that kind of way. There's a reason people are often advised to be careful/get prices upfront when taking cabs in certain countries. I wouldn't want to see the same for Japan.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Being drunk should not be an excuse. It should be part of the offence!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Complain about 80 yen, spends more for drinks on night out!! Sounds legit!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

JBird: well, there were a spate of stabbings only a couple years back, and this is the second cabbie assault in a week, so it's either that bad or worse.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

he got annoyed when the meter jumped up another 80 yen just as the taxi came to a stop. Police said he was drunk at the time of his arrest.

Granted he was drunk at the time, but I just can't make head or tail of why he got mad and ended up giving the cabbie a head-butt only for 80 yen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let's agree to jail him for 80 days for 80 yen, he seems to deserve it. That, and wear an alcohol monitor while he's on probation for 80 weeks.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

NOTE: I'm not saying the taxi driver in this case did it purposefully.

Pray tell how the "driver" is going to raise the meter 80 yen purposefully?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

In many countries around the world, the tourists as well as naive locals are scammed most often by taxi drivers. It can be anything purposely from taking the longer route, to passing on counterfeit currency, and even kidnapping.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yubaru - By taking a little longer to stop than is necessary. This is probably exactly what suspect thought the driver did.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Smith

The Kanto Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport says there are more than 90,000 taxi drivers in Tokyo alone! Two assults are two too many BUT with that number of drivers (sorry they didn't list the number of drivers in all of Kanto, for example, or all of Japan either, so one can only imagine how many taxi drivers there are nation wide!) the number of incidents that you mention must be lower than in the general population and, in fact, many other professions! Doesn't seem like anything to spend much time worrying about. I think it just shows how safe Japan really is compared to other countries.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

turned himself in at a police station about one hour later, was quoted as saying he got annoyed when the meter jumped up another 80 yen just as the taxi came to a stop. Police said he was drunk at the time of his arrest.

The way this is written sounds like he attacked the driver, realized what he'd done then went to a bar to "drown his sorrows" before turning himself in...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

JBird: "Two assults are two too many BUT..."

Gotta throw the 'but' in there, of course.

"with that number of drivers (sorry they didn't list the number of drivers in all of Kanto, for example, or all of Japan either, so one can only imagine how many taxi drivers there are nation wide!) the number of incidents that you mention must be lower than in the general population and, in fact, many other professions!"

So, since you looked up the number of drivers, look up the number of crimes. It's definitely more than two, but these two IN ONE WEEK were both for very petty things; this one for the driver stopping and the meter going up 80 yen, and last week for the drunk yelling that the driver intentionally went a route other than the one he demanded and he got out and kicked the cab before assaulting the driver.

I never said this was only in Tokyo, nor did I say it indicates Japan is any unsafer than other nations. I just said it might be time to consider putting up partitions.

"A 67-year-old taxi driver was found stabbed to death inside his taxi in Higashi Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture, on Tuesday morning. The murder follows a similar case on Monday when a taxi driver in neighboring Hyogo Prefecture was also stabbed to death."

Just an example of the kind of thing I was talking about earlier. As for 'safer than other countries', it may be, but I always chuckle when you guys take crimes as somehow being proof of that. I bet if I pointed out that one of the people who stabbed a cabbie to death not that long ago was in the US military in Okinawa that suddenly there would be a lot of talk about how dangerous things are with the aforementioned presence there -- but it's still somehow safer than other nations when it's the locals.

And another: https://www.japantoday.com/category/crime/view/taxi-driver-dies-after-assault-in-tokyo

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2013/10/14/soccer/j-league/ex-japan-star-maezono-settles-with-victim-over-drunken-attack/#.V-up0Tvww0o

http://www.japanupdate.com/2015/12/two-motobu-men-arrested-for-taxi-robbery-assault/

http://www.ntv.co.jp/englishnews/society/footage_shows_brazen_taxi_assault/

Heck, they're even going to Taiwan to assault taxi drivers!

https://www.japantoday.com/category/crime/view/japanese-star-charged-over-taiwan-taxi-driver-assault

My point is just that it might be time to consider it. Why wouldn't you?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Fighting

A not unlikely scenario. If I felt I had to turn myself in for what amounts to a spot of silly petulance, I think I'd make sure I was well "lubricated" beforehand.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It happens. It pisses me off too. But I don't get violent about it!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

By taking a little longer to stop than is necessary.

Right, longer to stop than necessary, ya'll give too much credit to the driver for knowing how far he had to go to make the meter go up ONE damn click.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

BertieWooster - It happens. It pisses me off too. But I don't get violent about it!

It's a measly ¥80! This guy is a drunken thug and should be charged as such.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Perhaps it's time to pass a law says almost anything that happens to you while you are drunk and beligerent is deserved and will not be prosecuted by the police. Getting really tired of drunk people thinking they are the center of the universe.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yubaru - It doesn't matter if the driver knows the exact 'one-click' distance. He just has to know that coming to a lingering stop might get him an extra ~10% on a low value ride. That might not have been the case, but it's even slightly hard to imagine.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

the principle of hardworking, underappreciated people simply trying to scrape up as many scraps as possible...

The average annual salary of a taxi driver is 308万円. Sure, not exactly glorious, but not quite "scraps" either. Like most industries in Japan, taxi drivers' salary isn't based on commission or tips. They get a regular salary, just like most people, and considering the average age of a taxi driver is 59 years old, it's a pretty fair bet many of them are retirees already receiving their pension. "Scraping by” seems a bit . . . well, excessive.

Regardless, I too would have been more than a little perturbed if the driver let the meter tip into the next increment of fare just as the car was rolling to a stop. It really is the principle of the issue, particularly when most cabs in the metro area are equipped with meters that indicate precisely when the next increment in fare is about to be reached; Any driver and any passenger in the cab would have been acutely aware of what happened right when that meter went' "Bing!" I don't think there are many people who would not have taken umbrage with the driver in a similar situation.

However, most people also wouldn't have head-butted the unscrupulous nit wit either.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Photographers are not to be trifled with. Cheating them, especially freelancers or road shooters has consequences.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A fight over 80yen?? WTF? That's crazy... oh wait, he was 'drunk'... that explains everything. He'll get off with a warning.

When has that ever happened in Japan?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I've had plenty of cabbies do the same thing. I've had to walk further and pay more because of it.

It's a dick move, but they know it's not so much that most people would freak out about it. After all, when are you going to see that driver again?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

****Drivers in my area usually stop the meter early!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Right, longer to stop than necessary, ya'll give too much credit to the driver for knowing how far he had to go to make the meter go up ONE damn click.

It's not that difficult to understand. The drive does this as a habit, and a certain percentage of the time the meter will roll over another 80 yen. If it works one out of 8 times, and he picks up 40 passengers each shift, he'll make an extra 400 yen per shift. Not much, but it's not as though it takes a lot of extra work.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Definitely agree with Strangerland, its actually quite common practice to do that here, seen it quite few times myself although i dont get physically violent with em, few sharp words and adamant position on where they were told to stop goes longer way and most of them would reduce the extra if talked sternly to. same goes about the longer way taken and other points. they are salaried employees, and drunk customers are their largest night customer base and their bread and butter so it on the taxi drivers to treat those customers with utmost respect and courtesy.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If they are salaried, what benefit to them is pushing the fare up by 80 yen? Do they also get a cut of the shifts take?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Some taxi meters have three bars that appear when it's about to click over, then two bars and then one bar before the fare goes up (actually in 90-yen increments in Tokyo). So it is possible to know when it will change in some taxis.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Mr. Shinohara could solve the problem by pushing the taxi one meter back :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Right, longer to stop than necessary, ya'll give too much credit to the driver for knowing how far he had to go to make the meter go up ONE damn click.

I haven't rode in a J-Taxi. People here seem to be saying that the taxi drivers can't see what the current fare is? How would they know what to charge at the end of the ride?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This happened to me too ! I even said to the driver "here....here ...here! " finally, the price went up. I was extremely disappointed with the driver.

Now, whenever I take a taxi I always get dropped off about a kilometer from where I'm going. Even if I have suitcases. My wife can't believe it. This has forced her to pack lighter which is an unexpected benefit

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I haven't rode in a J-Taxi. People here seem to be saying that the taxi drivers can't see what the current fare is? How would they know what to charge at the end of the ride?

They can see the meter, and the idea that someone who does this every day isn't going to have a sense as to whether or not they are near the next click-over isn't thinking clearly. They may not know 'oh, if I go another 6.3 meters, it will roll over', but they do know 'I'm pretty darn close to clicking over. Let's coast up to that corner there, and hope it rolls over before I get there'.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

c*nt

0 ( +0 / -0 )

they are salaried + bonus

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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