crime

Man arrested for driving offense commits suicide at Chiba police station

52 Comments

Chiba prefectural police said Monday that a man committed suicide at one of its stations. According to police, the incident occurred at Chuo Police Station at around 9 p.m. on Saturday.

TV Asahi quoted police as saying that a 46-year-old detainee apparently hanged himself by using a bed sheet tied to a toilet stall door inside his cell.

Police said that a guard checked on the man 40 minutes prior to his suicide. After he was found, he was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The man was being kept in a holding cell following his arrest on Thursday for allegedly driving without a license. On Saturday, his detention was extended for 10 days, although he continued to deny the charge, TV Asahi reported.

In a statement released to the press, a Chiba Chuo Police Station official said, "We're looking into the motive behind the man's suicide. We will also introduce measures to ensure this doesn't happen again."

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52 Comments
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If it is not in the back of a supermarket it is inside a PD. Sad story, I hope we won't see a rise in this kind of behavior now.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Man arrested for driving offense 46-year-old detainee apparently hanged himself by using a bed sheet tied to a toilet stall door inside his cell.

WTF...? A little more details here JT.... No civilized country in the industrialized world puts people in Jail Cells for a Driving Offense...! NONE... Now if he was arrested for Drunk Driving, Vehicular Manslaughter, Hit and Run, those are something completely Different, but When You Say, "Driving Offense," It Implies Speeding, Failure to stop at a stop Light, or Tail light out...

So You Are Saying JT, That the JCops Physically Arrested someone for a minor Traffic Violation... He shouldn't haven even been at a Koban, he should have received his ticket, and been on his way home..!

7 ( +17 / -10 )

This is the second story in a week I've read about a detainee committing suicide. Man, these cops need to learn that you can't just arrest someone and leave them hanging.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

"...his detention was extended for 10 days, although he continued to deny the charge..."

I think this should have read, "his detention was extended for 10 days, BECAUSE he continued to deny the charge."

It seems like the punishment (and his undoubtedly having to endure intense police interrogation tactics) was quite excessive given the crime, and would probably result in his loss of career and means of supporting his family, assuming he was employed with a family relying on him.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Of course he did.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

My question is, what was he denying?

Driving without a license or driving at all? You have a license or you don't.

10 additional days, to do what, from the cell?

How long was he in before the additional 10 days was tacked on?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I cannot see why they needed to hold him so long if they had caught him driving without a license if they had actually caught him driving. If they had caught him with a car or sitting in a parked car but not seen the car in motion, they may have found it difficult to prove he had been driving, but not possessing a licence would not require a confession to prove.

In Japan you can be held for 24 hours before being charged, then held for 10 days, which can be exteneded for another 10, meaning you can be held for 21 days. On release you can be held on another charge, which may be similar, and then held for a similar period of time.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Maybe it's a cover up. One of the cops sat on him and killed him. Brought him back to the cell and made it look like a hanging.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The man was being kept in a holding cell following his arrest on Thursday for allegedly driving without a license. On Saturday, his detention was extended for 10 days, although he continued to deny the charge, TV Asahi reported.

@JT

Thank You for updating the story...

But now makes even less sense... I would have guessed he was arrested for hit and run or something... Driving with a license..? You've got to be kidding... More unbelievable stuff everyday, even more unbelievable than the day before...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Correction :

Driving without a license..?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Maybe it's a cover up. One of the cops sat on him and killed him.

Wouldn't be surprised. Back in the UK, countless suspects, usually black, managed to "fall down a flight of stairs" while in police custody.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

No civilized country in the industrialized world puts people in Jail Cells for a Driving Offense...! NONE... Now if he was arrested for Drunk Driving, Vehicular Manslaughter, Hit and Run, those are something completely Different, but When You Say, "Driving Offense," It Implies Speeding, Failure to stop at a stop Light, or Tail light out...

What it implies is purely up to the reader, and "driving offense" implies to me anything automobile related including DUI,DWI, and the others that you wrote.

In reality they all fall under the same category.

So You Are Saying JT, That the JCops Physically Arrested someone for a minor Traffic Violation... He shouldn't haven even been at a Koban, he should have received his ticket, and been on his way home..!

Here is the problem, and I hope you never get caught driving here without a license because they take it very seriously, you think it's minor, the JP's dont. Japanese law is very strict on this. Driving without a license is a huge fine roughly $2,000.00 (US).

I know I've been there.........

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Just a quick question, was he arrested or not? I'm asking because it may be a translation error, but there's a huge difference in Japanese law between "detention" and "arrest". Detention happens before arrest and is without charges. It may be extended with a judge's permission, and is a period during which the police interrogate a suspect to discover whether there is sufficient basis (normally a confession) to press charges. Formal arrest and charging happens after detention, at which point you're in prison until either bail is granted by a judge or there's a trial.

The article simply doesn't make sense as it is currently written because of the inaccurate use of the terms "arrest" and "detain".

Okay, now a little speculation. It simply doesn't make sense to question someone about driving without a license. The person either has a license (easily verified by phoning the local licensing center even if they don't have it on their person at the time), or they don't. I suspect that the police were digging for information about something else, perhaps trying to verify the person's identity in the absence of a driver's license, or looking into previous driving offences, or something more serious.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Poor man. Better to face the consequences than take the coward's way out!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Here is the problem, and I hope you never get caught driving here without a license because they take it very seriously, you think it's minor, the JP's dont. Japanese law is very strict on this. Driving without a license is a huge fine roughly $2,000.00 (US).

I know I've been there.........

Maybe I should be more specific, In The U.S. (I cannot speak for Europe or Mexico, But I somehow doubt The Netherlands would even make you get out of the vehicle) Yes, 20 - 30 Years ago (and still in some parts of the Deep south, Georgia, Kentucky..) You could get in a world of trouble for not having a License, but importantly, Proof of Insurance.

Reality: Now a days, (unless you are caught in a car reported stolen) they will impound the car, give you a ticket, and leave you there on the side of the road, to find your own way back home...

Matter of fact, I don't even think they will impound the vehicle in California, considering their liberal laws and huge volume of illegals driving cars, without, licenses or proof of insurance...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The shame of arrest/ detention; the potential of losing his job once his employer finds out; and the frustration of arguing with police seeking a conviction, even if he was innocent...

It's no wonder in this country that that there are so many cases of fleeing from accidents. They'd rather take their chances than watch their future evaporate away in an instant...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Maybe I should be more specific, In The U.S.

See, here is the problem, folks go with what they know then assume that other places should be the same.

Sorry, but it seems to me that it happens MOST with people from the US, like they REALLY expect the rest of the world to follow how they do things. The reality is very different.

So what, about what "others" countries laws are about this, this is Japan and Japanese law rules the roost. Nobody complains about it either, because it makes sense, don't have a license, go to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200.00!

I was threatened with deportation if I ever did it again. In my case I had a stateside license, but not one for here, and I drove a friends car home because he was stupid drunk and I had nothing to drink, yes I knowingly took a risk, and paid the price for it, and looking back at it, I would do it again and screw the circumstances because maybe I saved someone's life that night, never know. At least my friend got home safe, and he paid over half the fine too! (Still think he should have paid it all, but we were cool!)

Side note: SOME of the JP's felt sorry for me too, but their "sorrow" did nothing in preventing the fine!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Driving without a license punishable by death? The police has some serious explaining to do. Letting the man die like that is not acceptable.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

He was a "detainee", and since he refused to confess to driving without a license, he was ordered to spend another 10 days in jail, probably to motivate him to confess. That would mean more than two weeks in jail for driving without a license. I'm sorry to say that such practices should not be common in a developed country. In America you must be charged within 72 hours of your arrest, if you cannot be formally charged within that time, you must be released, period. Either the police have the evidence they need to charge you, or they don't. If they don't, they shouldn't be permitted to hold you indefinitely until you "confess". With such a backward and odious system, it's no wonder that the rate of confessions is so high. We have already seen stories on this very website where people have been arrested, and then confessed to crimes which they never committed.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

That would mean more than two weeks in jail for driving without a license. I'm sorry to say that such practices should not be common in a developed country. In America you must be charged within 72 hours of your arrest, i

You are using westerner thinking in trying to understand a Japanese problem. There are plenty of things that I could name that happen in America that shouldnt happen in a "developed" country. Take the forest out of your eye before trying to remove the sliver here.

So what if you have to be formally charged or not, the system is different, don't like it, dont break the law. Just because you think driving without a license is minor, Japanese dont, just because you think being detained for as long as he was isn't right, so what, Japanese do.

Sure it would be nice to see some changes in the laws here, no where is perfect, just dont go pointing fingers.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

So what, about what "others" countries laws are about this, this is Japan and Japanese law rules the roost. Nobody complains about it either, because it makes sense, don't have a license, go to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200.00!

I was threatened with deportation if I ever did it again. In my case I had a stateside license, but not one for here, and I drove a friends car home because he was stupid drunk and I had nothing to drink,

The gist of my comment, for those lacking critical thinking skills, that Most, I.E. Developed, Industrialized, Civilized Countries take a more practical approach... I.E... Common Sense... You don't throw someone in Jail for 10 days, merely on the basis of them failing to show proof of a Driver's license..

Of course, if you are a Foreigner - ALL Bets are off... And if you are frequently committing this kind of behavior, regardless of what Foreign country you are visiting, Korea, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Mexico... as Chris Rock so eloquently states... "You are just Ignant..."

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Of course, if you are a Foreigner - ALL Bets are off... And if you are frequently committing this kind of behavior, regardless of what Foreign country you are visiting, Korea, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Mexico... as Chris Rock so eloquently states... "You are just Ignant...

What you wrote here above, to those with critical thinking skills that is, negates everything you wrote, because of what you wrote below here.

Japan treats this pretty much equally, in regards to driving without a license, citizen or foreigner get the same. So who is more "developed"? The one that treats everyone equally or the one's that are biased against foreigners?

The gist of my comment, for those lacking critical thinking skills, that Most, I.E. Developed, Industrialized, Civilized Countries take a more practical approach... I.E... Common Sense... You don't throw someone in Jail for 10 days, merely on the basis of them failing to show proof of a Driver's license..

You obviously can not, and will not attempt to understand the why, so it's useless to explain to you other than say that Japan takes it's licensing of drivers very seriously and driving without a license is a SERIOUS offense HERE.

Just take that to heart and live and learn and quit trying to extend or compare it to somewhere else because it just doesnt work.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Unbelievable! Taking this" losing face" to the extreme.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Why was he being detained for driving without a license? Usually, the cops just have your car towed and send you home in a taxi with a fine.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan takes it's licensing of drivers very seriously

Or, rather, the police do since they run the licensing centres and they, along with driving schools, provide a nice little job for retiring cops. And, while they are about it they will get you to renew the licence as much as is humanly possible - more jobs that way - and will make you sit through all kinds of unnecessary "lectures" and so on so it takes hours to renew it and makes more work. And will even make you pay if you wanna be reminded to renew. And if you fail to renew on time, well, you gotta start all over again.

Once again, it is less to do with culture, more to do with make-work schemes.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This must be a very big jail for something like this to happen without anyone knowing! What a shame!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Some things must be missing from this story 'cause who the hell would hang oneself for this kind of offense? I just don't believe it. That being said, perhaps he was in deep s**t and the cops were about to find out. Then it makes a little more sense.

In any case, it should not be possible for a detainee to off himself like this. There is definitely some negligence on the part of the coppers here and the one failing to keep an eye on this man ought to face the consequences. This being the land of bows and 'gomen nasai's' though, I doubt anything will come out of it.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This is BS!!! I smell bad cops in this!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese policework at its finest! I bet they interrogated him in a narrow windowless room and asked him all about his background and family, where he was born, where he went to school (things that have nothing to do whatsoever with the driving offense) for three or more hours, tediously typing everything into a laptop from the 90's equipped with a floppy drive, and for the next 3 or more hours he was questioned about every single little detail about the driving offense from the time he woke up and pinched a loaf to what he ate for breakfast. You will be subject to this for a speeding ticket. The Japanese system is DRACONIAN, absolutely atrocious. They treat you like a criminal for the slightest offense. Put you in a cell and you hang yourself.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

“We’re looking into the motive behind the man’s suicide. We will also introduce measures to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

Ah, the J-cops at their finest, once again. Perhaps it was the fact that you detained the man for more than 10 days for a DRIVING OFFENSE because he would not confess?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yubaru | ... and looking back at it, I would do it again ...

What about a taxi?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There is insufficient information about whether he (1) was never issued a license, (2) had a license and it expired, or (3) had a current valid license but wasn't carrying it with him. The exact charge is also not specified. I'm just saying it is sad journalism.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'll never understand the length of holding times for minor offenses. I had a friend who was in jail for 1 and half months for getting drunk causing a non-violent disturbance. If this poor guy was under the same type of stress as my friend was AND was innocent on top of it all...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Very suspicious

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japanese police are corrupt robots of a archaic legal system. 10 days held for what?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

So driving without a license is a "huge fine". Great. So why is he in jail? How do you expect him to pay that huge fine if he's not able to keep working? OH. I see. He was in jail because he had the gall to deny he was guilty, and the jail time was "extended" so they could work on him some more to get him to admit to what they had already decided he'd done. So you ensure he's lost his job, and you ensure he has no hope of getting out of jail any time soon. I wonder why he chose suicide over the continued mental assault by the police and prosecutors?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So driving without a license is a "huge fine".

or up to one year imprisonment.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Japanese police are corrupt robots of a archaic legal system. 10 days held for what?

For driving without a license and the accused denying this charge.

And the JT article is wrong. There is no "additional" 10 day period. It's merely a 10 day detention period.

"When a public prosecutor has not instituted prosecution against a suspect regarding a case in which the suspect was detained pursuant to the provisions of the preceding Article within ten days of the request for detention, he/she shall immediately release the suspect"-Code of Criminal Precedure

Here's what I think happened.

Usually when a police arrests you for driving without a license, you admit it and the prosecution/courts will fine you, hence little or no detention period. If you constantly deny these charges, the prosecution can lock you up for up to 10 days in which they have that time to formally prosecute you.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Usually when a police arrests you for driving without a license, you admit it and the prosecution/courts will fine you, hence little or no detention period. If you constantly deny these charges, the prosecution can lock you up for up to 10 days in which they have that time to formally prosecute you.

Why can you be held for 10 days with no charges filed? That seems excessive, especially for driving without a license. The maximum time you can be held without charges in the U.S. is one day.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why can you be held for 10 days with no charges filed? That seems excessive, especially for driving without a license. The maximum time you can be held without charges in the U.S. is one day.

Yes... Welcome to Japan...! If you didn't know, Japan is on the UN's short list of countries with the most screwed up legal systems. If you google, you can find that UN info on Japan.

That's why we have SOFA....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

nigelboy: " If you constantly deny these charges, the prosecution can lock you up for up to 10 days in which they have that time to formally prosecute you."

So in other words, you're held until you did it, even if you didn't. What's the confession rate in Japan, by the way? 99%?

Yeah, nothing wrong here. No real wonder why the police in Japan don't want cameras in their offices to record what goes on.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

He was driven to despair (without a licence)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Jeez, talk about over-reacting!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So in other words, you're held until you did it, even if you didn't. What's the confession rate in Japan, by the way? 99%?

No smith. As the law stated, the prosecution has 10days to prosecute. There is no such figure for "confession rate".

In any case, confession has very little to do with this case since the matter is whether or not the accused has a license.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Why can you be held for 10 days with no charges filed? That seems excessive, especially for driving without a license. The maximum time you can be held without charges in the U.S. is one day.

Daiyo kangoku - the 'Substitute prison system': technically you can be held for a period of up to 23 days before being charged. Within 3 days of being arrested you are taken to a prosecutor and then to the judge, who almost always grants the initial 10 day extension. Within the next 10 days you are constantly interrogated by both the investigating detectives and the prosecutor before eventually being taken back to the judge who extends detention for another 10 days. This is the process, but for complex crimes people can be held in detention for months.

Lots of stuff on the web about the injustice that this system perpetuates. Amnesty International have been calling strongly for its reform for years.

http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/japan-end-abusive-detention-system-after-murder-conviction-quashed-2012-11-

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Daiyo kangoku - the 'Substitute prison system': technically you can be held for a period of up to 23 days before being charged. Within 3 days of being arrested you are taken to a prosecutor and then to the judge, who almost always grants the initial 10 day extension. Within the next 10 days you are constantly interrogated by both the investigating detectives and the prosecutor before eventually being taken back to the judge who extends detention for another 10 days. This is the process, but for complex crimes people can be held in detention for months.

Not entirely accurate. After the arrest and detainment by the police, the prosecution has 24 hour limit to file a request for detention. (Code of Criminal Procedure Article 205). The prosecution then must submit to the judge for the reason of detention which has to fit one of the criteria set forth in Article 60 which includes offences that carry more than 300K yen fine under criminal code (which driving without a license is) when the accused has no confirmed residence. The other two include the high risk of accused avoiding prosecution and compromising the evidence due to his/her release.

Again, the charge of driving without a license is not about whether or not the prosecution or the police get a confession. The mere fact that he is denying the said charge likely indicate that this person is not right in his head somewhere.

But how soon we forget just a while back, there was an individual that drove without a license and killed 3 and injuring 7 in Kameoka. Though he was a minor, he was previously arrested for driving a motor bike without a license. Just wondering what many would say if this 46 year old was immediately released and subsequently did something similar. I'm willing to bet that most of you would be criticizing the police and the prosecution for not doing enough when he was arrested initially for driving without a license.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

interesting between the lines reading here. Sad for the guy ofcourse but i dont really feel to much for peope commiting suicide and leaving others behind, fleeing responsibility unless they might be doing it out of some sense of taking responsibility perhaps. Which is off the topic but ... i read somewhere in japan police can keep you up to three weeks without actual factual proof or accusation or the permission of some kind of governor (i dont know the system there) and so this is it? 10 days held over driving without a license ? So, if i took a trip to japan and i accidentaly dropped a wrapper in a park could they just arrest me for that and hold me for three weeks without any kind of accusation or conviction if i just opened my mouth in the wrong way because that is somewhat scary ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

nigelboy: "Again, the charge of driving without a license is not about whether or not the prosecution or the police get a confession. The mere fact that he is denying the said charge likely indicate that this person is not right in his head somewhere."

Or that the cops screwed up or exaggerated, but since they need their confession rate to get their stipend, you get what happened here. Or wait, if I'm wrong, did the guy confess?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Or that the cops screwed up or exaggerated, but since they need their confession rate to get their stipend, you get what happened here. Or wait, if I'm wrong, did the guy confess?

Again, what is this "confession" rate that you refer to? Also, this isn't about whether or not the detained "confessed" that he has no license. It's either you have it or you don't.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Not entirely accurate. After the arrest and detainment by the police, the prosecution has 24 hour limit to file a request for detention. (Code of Criminal Procedure Article 205). The prosecution then must submit to the judge for the reason of detention which has to fit one of the criteria set forth in Article 60 which includes offences that carry more than 300K yen fine under criminal code (which driving without a license is) when the accused has no confirmed residence. The other two include the high risk of accused avoiding prosecution and compromising the evidence due to his/her release.

You're splitting hairs... Under Japanese Law, they can hold you for 23 Days, which can be "Easily" Extended one time, for another period of 23 days, without any proof of any crime even being committed, based solely on what the police want to do (NO Evidence Required) . As far as this mumbo-jumbo about a 24 hour limit and some article 60, this is trivial... It probably doesn't even require anything more than a phone call.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

nigelboy: "Again, what is this "confession" rate that you refer to?"

Seriously? http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8290767.stm

That's one of more than 300,000 hits on forced confessions, and they're not the blogs you like to quote.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Seriously? http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8290767.stm

Smith

So where is the "confession" rate that you refer to?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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