crime

Man punches officer for using mobile phone camera at crime scene

43 Comments

Police on Sunday arrested a 37-year-old man for obstruction of duty after he punched a police officer in the face at the scene of a warehouse fire in Akaiwa, Okayama Prefecture. The 27-year-old police sergeant was taking photos of the scene with his mobile phone when Yuji Iwamoto reportedly yelled, "This isn't the time to be taking photos!" and punched the officer in the face.

Since last year, Okayama police have distributed 500 authorized mobile phone handsets to police boxes around the prefecture to be used to take photos of crime scenes and other incidents when officers make their initial investigations.

© News reports

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

43 Comments
Login to comment

Yeah I can imagine if your house is on fire you wouldnt like people be taking pictures. Something similiar was on the television about the Kobe earthquake, journalists had to take pictures during those harsh times.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow, for once a Cop is actually doing his job and "taking notes" i.e. pictures of the scene and possibly people standing around that 'might' have seen something (like how the fire started) and he gets clocked.

Wonder if the idiot who punched the cop was the one who started the fire or knows who started it and doesn't want witnesses. Not that it was a on purposely set fire... Smells a little Yakky to me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Photos of a fire can be very helpful to investigators. The color of the smoke, for example, can help determine the type of fuel burning - which could assist in an arson investigation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Papigigiulio, this isn't his house on fire. It was a warehouse. Even if it was his warehouse, full of his stock, he still should have been more concerned about whether anyone was inside or not rather than how he could best obstruct a cop doing his job.

It's extremely unlikely the cop wasn't in uniform, so it's hardly believable that he thought it was some bystander taking pictures for laughs.

If you or I were standing taking pictures, then he'd have a reason to be angry. As it was a cop, one can't help wondering if there's more to the story. Was there a chance that one or more persons were inside? Even then he could hardly expect a uniformed cop to waltz in and rescue someone from an inferno.

And the jokes are very funny guys. So funny you can just hear me laughing. Har-de-har. Stupid sense of humour.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Very lucky not to be done for assault.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is really a strange story...must be LOTS of information missing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe the man was being extorted or harassed by the yaks, or some unknown entity, complained to the police many times with no action taken. Then shows up at the fire and sees the same cops who really knows the whole story, and just loses it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Either this guy has a really bad temper or he didn't realize it was a police officer he was hitting or both.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A Japanese throw a punch. Im shocked. I bet stabbings outdo punches here. 500 phones.... Let me guess, AU...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is good.. it hopefully will breed a differnt type of mentality among police.. not to trust anyone and always expect to be attacked and killed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

'always expect to be attacked and killed'..typical vulcan mentality

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Dammit: I understood it was not his house but a warehouse. Failed to make that clear in my comment. I just pointed out that I could imagine how someone would feel if a house is on fire or a accident has happened and someone is just taking pictures. f.e. the Diana incident in Paris. But im straying off topic.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The guy who punched the police office should be charged with an assault and obstruction. Citizens should not go around and hit public servants/other citizens for that matter.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bad move, but I understand how Yuji feels. It's just really bad manners to take photos with your cell phone camera. Young people (including this cop) don't think twice before doing it. Perhaps he was doing it for "evidence." Something tells me that's not the case though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How about this scenario: guys warehouse burns down. He calls the cops. Cop shows up, doesn't do any investigation, or asks any questions, just starts snapping photos with is cell phone camera. To somebody that doesn't know the police have been issued phones just for this purpose, it could seem like the cop was just goofing off. I can understand his frustration.

If the cop showed up, explained that he was going to be taking photos for evidence, and took the guys statement, this might not have happened.

At any rate, cops aren't arson investigators. There job is to take statements, rope off the area, and let the investigators do their job.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In the US and Canada it's SOP for the first responders to take photos of the crowd and of the fire itself. Faces are run through a face recognition database and the forensics people can use the digital photo images to help ascertain how the fire started.

I don't know about you but I've noticed the firetrucks are rolling as often as 2 or 3 times per station in my area of Tokyo, stats on the number of fires happening have also had a significant spike. Want to bet the fire was set deliberately and the perp was the guy who punched out the cop?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Papigiulio, I hope I didn't offend you or anything. Still, I was just pointing it out! But you know what I mean? A warehouse fire is very different from a house fire unless there's someone in there. It doesn't mention that here though, so I guess that's not the problem.

But as I said, it's highly unlikely the cop was out of uniform, so how could this guy think he had the right to punch him? Ask him what the heck he's doing perhaps, then he can explain that he's been issued the phone to get basic initial photos to help with the investigation. Then there wouldn't be a problem. Yes I know, people aren't rational when their business is up in smoke. If it was his business premises, I don't know about that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bamboohat, exactly. A simple "sumimasen, let me take some photos with my cell phone for evidence" would have prevented the guy from punching him.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry edogawa but i think you have been watching too much CSI. I have never seen "first responders" take pics. Not to say it would be bad idea, but it just doesn't happen, and certainly isn't "SOP." As another poster said they usually secure the area, question witnesses, etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One pounch is nothing at all! You can pick such actions on TV everyday. Will accused get a suspended sentence or a little find for cops poor box? “This isn’t the time to be taking photos!” ' WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME.'

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Young people (including this cop) don't think twice before doing it. Perhaps he was doing it for "evidence." Something tells me that's not the case though.

Because a copper is going to show up in uniform and start taking photos just for the fun of it? (rolls eyes) The police always take photos, it's part of their job. In the past the camera had to be taken back to the station, now they can send in the photos over the airways for quicker checking.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why mobile phones? Use normal camera if you want to use those photos as evidence. I would get upset as well if I see a cop taking pictures with his mobile. Not sure whether I would punch him though..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Spot on Cleo, cell phone, or more likely smart phone pics can be automatically sent in for investigators to check them. I don't think normal digital cameras have the email function built in automatically yet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A church near my sister in law's house in the U.S. caught fire. Federal ATF agents who were brought in to see if it was an arson canvassed the neighborhood to interview neighbors and made copies of all pictures taken of the fire to assist them determine the cause and the location where the fire started. I don't think that camera phone images are being transmitted live to investigators waiting at headquarters. That isn't the way it works. The camera phones are just handy and therefore more likely to be carried and used by responding officers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just watched a documentary of the 110-ban call center the other day. The major new thing was the photos that were being sent in by the first police on the scene, allowing the center to assess the nature of the incident, letting them make really quick decisions as to what kind of backup to send next.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

First just to set things strait the phones were distributed to the "Kobans" so the officer was a uniform cop seeing that they are the cops in the "Kobans".

Second police are not firefighters and can do little or nothing at a fire that is the job of the fire department.

Third I was a rescue worker back in my country and YES it was SOP for the police (even back then over 20 years ago) to take picture of the fire and the crowd, and many cell phones in Japan have better quality night capability then the standard cameras used back then.

I can also imagine that the phones can be used in a dual purpose, not to mention if by any chance if one of them is "misplaced" it can be located by remote GPS.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Spot on Cleo, cell phone, or more likely smart phone pics can be automatically sent in for investigators to check them.

somehow I can't imagine the J-stones (at least the dudes straight outta the cop box) are that sophisticated.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

bamboohat, it would seem most likely that they are sending photos by cellphone email- maybe you consider that to be sophisticated, but most people under the age of 70 don't any more. I'm fairly sure it would be within the capabilities of the police here, no matter what your opinion of them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I know those rickety old bikes they ride, with the little black boxes clattering away in the back, are small, but couldn't they give them REAL cameras for crime scenes? I mean, despite recent cell phone technology producing some pretty good camera lenses, you can still buy a pretty small camera that has MUCH better quality.

Regardless, hope this guy gets a wee stint in the klink.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh, and on Cleo's comments and sending camera's in as opposed to sending the photos by email, that makes sense for cell phones, but the quality, and possibly serious evidence, could suffer as a result. And besides, most cameras are equipped with bluetooth and wifi capable support these days anyway, not to mention memory cards not much more than a cm squared.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I guess some of you haven't seen the new cell phones that are more like cameras with phone then phones with cameras some of these new "phones" have as much as 12 megapixel and 3 X optical zoom.

Anyway these are just for use by the initial responders, if you have ever noticed at any accident or incident there is a white and black fairly plain police van that arrives quite quickly, those are the real investigators and they will have the best equipment.

Now lets say an arsonist just set a fire and as it seems they like to watch their handiwork, and is in the crowd and a cop pulls out a nice state of the art camera and points it in his direction, is he just going to sit there and be photographed?

But the cop using a cell phone attracts considerably less attention (with maybe the exception of this case).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Saw a cop on tv about an hour ago. He whipped out his phone and started snapping pictures of a mountain of futons that had been dumped by someone. Not as unusual as I first supposed then.

But the best thing about this incident is that it will hopefully bring home to people the fact that cop plus phone = taking photos of crime scenes. Hold the upskirt jokes please. Maybe there won't be any more cops being punched for doing their job.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My husband's last cellphone had a 7 megapixel Exilim camera built into it, and he got that several years ago. Those of you who think that cellphone photos are poor quality need to go and look at what's on the market now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Funny story !!!! It's not the time to be taking pictures !!!

I would have threw a couple of curse words. And said get the water house mutha bleeper !!!'

0 ( +0 / -0 )

OK, so this guy punches a police officer in the face as he's trying to perform his duties, and the assailant only gets charged with "obstruction of duty"?!? What about "assault"?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Actually, what about "assault and battery"?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Arrested for obstruction of duty? How about assault?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is an unfortunate example of a misunderstanding being acted upon too hastily. If he had given the officer even 10 seconds to give a 10 word explanation, none of this would have happened.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They need to just make the public aware that they are doing this, and that these cell phones are for official business and not disaster porn for cops. If it was a personal cell phone, it would be totally inappropriate and worth punching the cop in the face over. Thus this is a big misunderstanding.

Have the cell phones clearly labeled, and make sure you prosecute officers for using them inappropriately such as violating a person's privacy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The guy probably hit the cop because he was taking photos with a CELL PHONE. He probably though the cop was messing around.

Why don't the police realize that crime-scene photos should be taken with a proper camera, not a cell phone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Or maybe Yuji Iwamoto is an arsonist who started the fire in the first place. Maybe he takes pleasure in watching people scramble to put out the fire and got insulted when he saw that officer calmly standing there taking pictures. Maybe I've been watching too many "criminal minds" episodes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

did he shout first or punched first, was the phone broken.....haha lots of things will come under consideration before a case is made.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well I hope this fool get a good beating behind bars to for not respecting the police officer!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites