crime

Man hits 72-year-old after being warned about smartphone use while walking

42 Comments

Police have arrested a 30-year-old man on suspicion of assaulting a 72-year-old man who scolded him for using his smartphone while walking.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 12:20 a.m. Friday near JR Ueno Station in Tokyo's Taito Ward. The suspect was identified as Masaaki Sakatsugi, a resident of Fuchu City, Fuji TV reported.

Sakatsugi was quoted by police as saying he got upset when the 72-year-old man told him to stop using his smartphone while walking. Sakatsugi struck the elderly man’s face, causing him to fall down. Police said the victim suffered an external head injury, causing a subarachnoid hemorrhage. He remained in a critical condition on Saturday.

Police said Sakatsugi has admitted hitting the man and said he was walking toward a station to go home after a few drinks when he almost ran into the man. He said the elderly man got angry and he lost his temper and struck him once in the face.

A passerby notified police at a nearby koban. Sakatsugi initially left the scene but returned when he saw an ambulance arrive.

© Japan Today

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42 Comments
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Another drunken tough punk hitting someone that could not fight back. Charge him with assault causing injury and lock him up for a few months. I make a point of walking into these 'phone walkers' and have been abused for it a few times, but not one of the cowardly punks would take a swing at me because they know they will get one or two back. I hope the old fella makes a full recovery and sues the pants of this cowardly punk!

13 ( +22 / -9 )

not so smar pho walker lol

4 ( +8 / -4 )

The article already had me hating the guy when it said he was walking while looking at his smartphone. Seriously injuring an old man for putting him in his place just puts it over the top.

On the plus side once he gets out of prison he will be paying the victim's medical bills, unless he is rich he just pretty much ruined his own financial future too.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Honestly, at least the dude returned to the scene... Stil, ehe should have to pay the consequences...He obviously has anger issues and you could bet this isn't the first time he has hit somebody when angry. Hope the victim makes a full recovery.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Disillusioned, if you're deliberately walking into people then I'm afraid you're being MUCH more of an ass than the smartphone walkers. Life is too short to be picking fights with people.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Violence like in this article, is not the answer, it much better to go the righteous way, and much more effective to hurt people economy instead.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Mr Sakatsugi could be in a very serious situation if the older man, um... you know, does not recover from his injuries.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Violence is not an answer but in Japan due to the no confrontational world it is there is no chance to learn common sense or logic as there is no consequence for ones actions most of the time just a fake "Excuse me" and on they go continuing what ever the dumb thing was.

Hope the old boy gets well soon.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Oops, I do this all time, always humorously and trying to teach the guy or girl to be careful in the future and I always smile. But maybe I should stop after this news. The dude was drunk, a few drinks etc, but no excuse to almost kill a man. Damned technology turning peeps into zombies. Oy

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I rip my arms so they are like rock-anyone on a smartphone bumping into me goes spinning .....

0 ( +3 / -3 )

people should mind their own business and stop trying to tell others what to do

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

Merely slugging an old man won't generate enough outrage, but eventually someone will kill somebody and then maybe a few common-sense rules will be enforced in a futile attempt to rein in the zombies who can't divert their eyes from their smartphone screen for more than a few seconds.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

New technologies are brain washing feebleminded people. Who are the beneficiaries?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I don't care if people walk and use smartphones at the same time (I do it too) BUT...

If they are responsible for bumping into someone, causing an accident or injury, or even making people go out of their way to avoid said phone-zombie, then it's not cool.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

walking into people then I'm afraid you're being MUCH more of an ass than the smartphone walkers. Life is too short to be picking fights with people.

Better than ignoring a problem and sticking your head in the sand.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I am more than a little tired of idiots not looking where they are going with cellphones.

I am also more than a little tired of people appointing themselves the moral police and shouting, yelling, and, if what the 30 year old says is true, hitting people who don't comply with their demands. Yes, it could be total BS. However, I've seen it happen. My foreign friend (female, Canadian) was screamed at by a customer in a crowded noisy bakery on a lunchtime for speaking on her phone. There are no rules about being on the phone in the store. The store was already noisy as hell. He was just looking for someone to yell at and offload his frustration on. Made a key error though thinking a petite 5 ft blonde Canadian girl wouldn't fight back.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I have a little trouble with both sides of this issue. On the one hand, as a former, and still fit, sports freak - wrestling, soccer, rugby, and more - I'm not inclined to get out of the way of an idiot who's concentrating on his/her toy comm device, with no respect for others. I'm not psychologically inclined to get out of their way - I'd rather give them the shoulder and a good verbal dressing-down. BUT, that said, I'd rather avoid that happenstance because it means I'd have to go into aggressive mode; while it takes an immense amount of tolerance to avoid some of the fools, it's better to let it go, shake your head at their ignorance and let someone else do the dirty.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There are no rules about being on the phone in the store.

Likewise, there's no rules about people telling phone users they aren't cool.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Alcohol and cell phone = collision course. Maybe the guy should have been enjoying the view of the cherry blossoms while watching where he was going. The use of cellphone while walking drives me nuts!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I make a point of walking into these 'phone walkers' and have been abused for it a few times

Ahh, so you think assault is the answer to something you find annoying.

Better than ignoring a problem and sticking your head in the sand.

By creating a bigger one?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Smart phone walkers annoy the crap out of me..but never thought I deliberately want to walk into them..why bother really...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

These walking texters are now called "petextrians". Google it

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If they were watching where they were going they'd be able to avoid bumping into me. Their problem, not mine

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The only way someone looking at their phone would run into another person is if the other person is not paying attention as well...or if the other person is being a tool as some of the above posters are fake bragging about doing.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If they were watching where they were going they'd be able to avoid bumping into me. Their problem, not mine.

Don't change the subject. Get back to what you and that other guy were saying-- that going around deliberately bumping people and picking fights is the solution. Explain how that helps anyone. Someone might bump you but hasn't yet, so it's okay for you to initiate contact with them and blame them? Would it be okay for me to start phone walking in hopes you will choose me? I want to give you money for a plane ticket out of Japan to any distant locale of your choosing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Not a chance. And who said I'm trying to start fights? No, I'm giving them an education. And I make an exception for ladies, usually by coughing loudly as they approach. So you can call me a gentleman. And no, I don't aim for every smart phone zombie I see. But train stations are dangerous places for texting, and crowded. So in that case body contact is inevitable

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Smartphone zombies are to be disrespected just the same way they disrespect their surroundings and the people in these surroundings. If you don't look forward (and maybe left and right once in a while), neither will I.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

who said I'm trying to start fights? No, I'm giving them an education.

If they walk into you while looking at their phone, it's through ignorance. If you walk into them even though you see them, it's assault.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Oh well, I can stand still while they walk into me and the line becomes blurred. Feel free to stand up for the vulnerable smart-phone zombies of Japan

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If it was some big foreigner on his phone texting away sure these people would not deliberately bump into them..No the people who deliberately bump into other people look for the weak ones...that is now my friends is the true definition of a coward...@Commodore Shmidlap (Retired) I will chip in for the ticket!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I can stand still while they walk into me and the line becomes blurred.

No, I think if you stop and stand your ground, and they walk into you, that's entirely their fault. It's when you purposefully walk into someone that it makes you just as much an a-hole as them, if not more.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Just as guns don't kill people, smartphones don't make people smarter. There is a correlation between the increase in the use of technology and a decrease in humanity / social skills. Notice I said correlation; these are noted by observation but, have yet to be backed up by hard science.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

No, I think if you stop and stand your ground, and they walk into you,

20cm away usually works

0 ( +1 / -1 )

execute the punk, personally I never move from phone zombies..

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Sorry, I have very bad experiences against the old generation here in Japan. Although I understand the guy was at fault for assaulting the old man, to his defence, the old man hit him first, for almost running into him while using smartphone. The old ones here in Japan are high and almighty, and as such, feel that they can do whatever. They often get angry at a lot of people (foreigners, too) for trivial things like these, and go out of their way in order to let their anger be known. I experienced an old guy behind me, who got angry and threw a lot of angry words for kissing my wife (a smack in the lips)while waiting for bus. I see old men yelling at youngsters for using phones while walking, talking in bus, etc. These guys seems to me, feel entitled and can be disrespectful themselves because they're simply the older generation, or more "erai".

Kudos to the guy for returning to the scene when he noticed an ambulance.

I have no love for the Jiji. sorry. go ahead with the downvote.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Why is no one pointing the fact that the elderly guy struck him first? Japanese Jiji's are very healthy for their age, do we have any idea how the 72 year old guy looked like? I mean, he DID punch the dude in the face first. How come that doesn't come off as battery/assault? Is the fact that he is old, an excuse for him to struck anyone he so desires?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Lockke yeah I have been in that situation many of times but the reality they are just jijis nothing better to do with their time.It is a part of living in Japan dealing with the jijis in the best way you can being polite I find with them once you turn and speak to them in politely in Japanese they seem to soften up pretty quick.After all we all are guest of this wonderful Country respect goes a long way here.Saying that this jijis actions are not acceptable in any society.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I have stopped a few times without jumping out of the way. Many stop just a few centimeters from me and say they are sorry. I am sure these smart phone users do bump into people again and again (probably other smart phone users). What can you do ? ... No good punching someone in any case.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Lockke yeah I have been in that situation many of times but the reality they are just jijis nothing better to do with their time.It is a part of living in Japan dealing with the jijis in the best way you can being polite I find with them once you turn and speak to them in politely in Japanese they seem to soften up pretty quick.After all we all are guest of this wonderful Country respect goes a long way here.Saying that this jijis actions are not acceptable in any society.

I don't think I can do it like that, bow down, take their crap and smile just cause I am a guest here. I understand your point though.

Anyone have an answer as to why the jiji gets away by punching a stranger in the face for simply bumping into him, and gets away with it? No "cause this is japan" please

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have a tendency to call out "Please turn a light on" ("”ライトを点灯してください” raito wo tentou shite kudasai) as I cross paths with cyclists who do not have any lights on since I have nearly hit one (despite my use of quite powerful lights) but I am aware that the Japanese do not take kindly to being scolded. I might not say anything were it not for the fact that I am on racing bike and they are on a shopper (ママちゃり) going in the oppose direction.

@Lockke I think that the article is equivocally worded.

"He said the elderly man got angry and he lost his temper and struck him once in the face. "

I think that the three "he"s in this sentence all refer to the younger man so it was the younger man who struck first - and the only person who struck.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think that the three "he"s in this sentence all refer to the younger man so it was the younger man who struck first - and the only person who struck.

I see. I read it wrong then, if the guy was the only one indeed who threw a punch. I read it as the old man hit him cause he got angry, and so explaining why the man punched him.

What you are doing in your case is acceptable; as you are warning them about possibility of an accident due to the fact that they do not have lights on. No qualms with that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Alcohol is promoted and sold. Smartphones are promoted and sold. This incident is an obvious consequence.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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