crime

Man dies after setting fire to himself, son on school grounds

56 Comments

A 49-year-old man doused his son and himself with a flammable liquid and then set fire to himself and the boy on the grounds of a school in Tokyo on Monday morning.

According to police, the boy was playing baseball with his teammates when his father entered the grounds of Shiomi elementary school in Bunkyo Ward at around 10:30 a.m. NHK reported that the man took his son away from the group and then poured liquid, believed to be heating oil, on him and himself. He then held onto the boy as he set fire to himself.

Police said the man was pronounced dead on Monday night, while the boy remains unconscious. NHK quoted police as saying that the man is estranged from the boy and his mother and that the woman consulted police last year about her husband's abusive behavior.

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56 Comments
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How sad and disgusting. I can only hope the son is not disfigured for life.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

That poor child.

Clearly a man who is/was desperate for whatever reason. I don't want to speculate as to why he did this but will just say I am sick of kids being used as pawns here when adult's can't sort themselves out.

10 ( +18 / -8 )

"According to police, the boy was playing baseball with his teammates when his father entered the grounds of Shiomi elementary school in Bunkyo Ward at around 10:30 a.m."

Bunkyo-ku- a lot of schools and colleges in that area....bordered by Sugamo, Toshima -ku, and Jimbocho, and Ikebukuro....Too bad the Japanese police could not have gotten there in time in time. Bunkyo-ku has its share of crimes, but a lot don't get reported.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Lunatics always hurt the innocent.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

How inappropriate it is for the father to choose an elementary school for his place of folly. Hope the kid survives.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Ah, see! This is what happens when you have a trucked up joint custody system. Or, should I say, NO joint custody system. His ex-wife probably just banned him from seeing the kid for no better reason than it being the normal thing done in a Japanese separation. Now, after a long time of built up anguish he cuts loose like this. No doubt he was a but of a nutter to begin with, but that should be decided by the courts and not by his ex-wife and her family. I have no doubt this was a revenge provoked attack after he got cut off from his son.

-10 ( +10 / -20 )

How painful for the mother and son! Guess we know why he was separated from the family! People need to have hope in something other than people. That way when people let you down, not all is lost.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@tmarie

I don't want to speculate as to why he did this but will just say I am sick of kids being used as pawns here when adult's can't sort themselves out.

Your post would be fine and make sense if you would only delete one word: HERE.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

what a bleeding anal cavity of coward he his...go jump off a cliff and leave everyone else out of your self loathing

1 ( +6 / -5 )

No excuses for such behavior but this is could be a result of poor (read non-existant) custody rights.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Kinda sounds like there are some posters here who are using this tragedy to pound their soapbox on the topic of family law. Shame on the lot of you.

This "father" is the lowest kind of scum. Let's assume that this was a case of a father "done wrong by" as many seem to be doing above, although the article says no such thing; I don't care how much he was mistreated by his wife, how unfair every single judgement of the family court may have been, or how much of his salary he had to fork over ... none of that matters a bit when stacked up against the innocent life of an elementary school child.

The fact that this horrible man chose to burn his own child proves that he placed no value on the child anyway, beyond that of a pawn to sacrifice as he saw fit.

This is one of the more heinous acts I've read about on these pages. Three days before Christmas, young boy enjoys first days of winter vacation playing some baseball with his friends. Seconds later he gets dragged away and set alight by his own father presumably in full view of his classmates and friends. A sickening and inexcusable crime. Tell me again how we don't need capital punishment ..... I'd happily throw the switch on this guy myself.

Sure hope the kid makes it.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

Family violence is a serious problem in Japan. I can't understand how a father can do that.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I hope and pray that by some miracle - it is Christmas after all - the poor, innocent boy somehow survives.

To hell with the evil child-hating abuser. Selfish, disgusting and egotistical maggot.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

The man is obviously insane and in need of sympathy, not condemnation. it's so easy to criticise on this site, so hard to empathise....

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

The man is obviously insane

Disagree. Its equally likely that he is a selfish beast, or just flat out evil. Not everyone who attempts murder is "insane", and pretending that they are only provides the truly evil ones with a convenient excuse. Besides, if the man is "insane" as you suggest then it would be by definition impossible for the rest of the sane world to "empathize" with his situation.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

disillusioned, the wife was completely in the right to estrange herself and her son from this man.

To call him "a bit of a nutter" is deluded. No woman should have to live with violence or abuse, and neither should any child. Instead of rationally going through the courts, he decides to kill them both. WHY are you defending this guy??!!

No court order could have prevented what happened today. Your suggesting what, exactly? Give the dad joint custody so he can kill himself and his son in his home instead of on a baseball field? crap.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

so hard to empathise

Anyone that would do this to their own child does not deserve my empathy.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

How a parent can do this to their child is beyond my comprehension... As wishful thinking as it may seem, I hope the son recovers and is able to put this memory behind him and live a full and happy life. As for the father... Well, it's Christmas, so all I'll wish for him is that he gets professional help in a maximum security institution.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@hidiingout

While I respect your opinion 100 per cent, I still reckon that anybody who sets their own child on fire is clearly insane. words like "evil" do nothing to clarify the situation. Something happened, obviously , to make him do what he did.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Wtf is wrong with people? If you want to die that is your problem don't try to take other people with you. Is there any logical or illogical reason for this madness?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@slumdog

"Empathy" isn't something you deserve or not; it's a natural feeling.

@Magnet

Thank you. A rational response in a crazy, savage world....

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Even with the impending signing of The Hague treat this stuff will still not go away because the courts here won't enforce the laws brought in with it. Hard to beat down cultural beliefs if there is no punishment if a court order isn't followed

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This is horrible. Even if the poor kid survives without any visible scars (hopefully his face isn't messed up) he's going to have HUGE emotional issues.

Not to mention being stigmatized in his neighborhood for getting lit on fire by his nutjob dad.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

if you're dead set on committing a crime so disgustingly heinous as killing your own son, for the love of god at least choose a method that doesn't cause such excruciating and lasting pain (particular if he survives)!!

My heart truly goes out to the boy who just went through more pain than most of us could possibly even imagine in a lifetime.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

All we know is this is definitely a revengeful act towards the mother and possibly her family. I remember a case years ago in the US where a man got his son away from the mother, took him to a motel and set the boy on fire. The boy lived but was disfigured for life. The father's excuse was that if he couldn't have his son, then neither could the wife! Very desperately sad for children who suffer at the hands of their own parents!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Ghastly news. Please get well little man, and make a speedy recovery. Many people's thoughts are with you.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Empathy" isn't something you deserve or not; it's a natural feeling.

You seemed to me to be suggesting it was. In any case, I cannot empathise with anyone who would do this to their own child. Empathy means to understand the feelings of another person and I just cannot do it in this case. It is beyond my reasoning and comprehension.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

think outside the box

There is nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, 'outside the box' that would justify what this man did.

Nothing.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I hope both father and son recover, and when the father recovers he can work his butt off to pay for all of this.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@slumdog Sure. You can't understand his feelings; fair enough. But some people maybe can. They're professionals,paid to do their job. Don't judge people on your own emotioanally-tinged feelings.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

No excuses. Don't blame the courts or the police or the "system". I'd die for my kids. Everyone should put their lives before their children. So his ex may be horrible. I have a friend in the same situation. Almost broke and hardly sees his kids through her manipulation of the system. But his kids don't realise he hates her. He puts his children above his own self. This man is scum. He deserves to live a long life in pure agony and prison. Anyone who hurts a child like that does. May the poor boy recover :-(

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Chooky88,

Exactly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't care how nasty the ex wife was, how callous the court system was, or how he had a deprived childhood, or any other excuse. There is no justification for this kind of thing.

I hope the little boy pulls through.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Cannot comprehend adults who abuse kids, especially their own. Please pull through little fella.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well the father has died so those hankering for justice and beyond will just have to live with the fact that nothing can be done to punish him. Things are not looking promising for the son either.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

this is horrible! does anyone know the conditions of the son? i think i heard that the father had died but i haven't heard anything about the son. My prayers go out to the family and friends

1 ( +1 / -0 )

disillusioned, the wife was completely in the right to estrange herself and her son from this man.

Very possibly, but how could you know that? There's nothing in the article about how the marriage ended or who was most responsible for it.

To call him "a bit of a nutter" is deluded. No woman should have to live with violence or abuse, and neither should any child.

There might well have been violence or abuse. But where does it say that in the article?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is what happens when you have a trucked up joint custody system.

This has nothing to do with the "custody system". No person of a normal frame of mind would consider committing such an act. As usual, when JT carry their own news stories instead of those of the news agencies, we know absolutely nothing about the background of those concerned in this case. BTW, my Japanese neighbor is divorced and his two children visit him every weekend and every public holiday.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

1, he did this w/ o the kid running away? how did that happen?

and

2, "heating oil"? I imagine that is kerosene (toyu) but hope it was not: kerosene burns at a low temperature and not very fast, therefore it does less destruction and is less likely to kill or render quickly unconscious than, say, gasoline. great news for if you want to live through s0mething like this, but bad news if you want to avoid being maimed/ you wish you could go more peacefully/ painlessly. I imagine it was VERY painful. (not that gasoline would not be, but...)

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Very possibly, but how could you know that? There's nothing in the article about how the marriage ended or who was most responsible for it.There might well have been violence or abuse. But where does it say that in the article?

I know that because he set fire to himself and his child. People who do things like this almost always have a history of violence. And always have a history of mental illness. Lets face it - mentally stable people don't do things like this.

All this article is proving is that the mothers intuition to estrange herself from him was right.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So horrible, so sad! Poor little boy!! And for this crazy father, my guess he is already burning in hell.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

the parents have been separated since 2010... the boy and his older brother lived with their mom & grandparents. the father was ordered not to see the children but he tried to grab the boy's arm when he walked out of the grandparents' house to go to school - the mother was there and tried to stop him - the father kicked the mother and she reported that to the police - made things even worse for him.

he should NEVER have hurt his own child (nor anyone else's child) but I understand that the father was in a lot of pain inside. Again, this should NEVER happen again and this should NEVER be forgiven, but I am sad that this probably could have been prevented if something could have worked out between the parents.

according to Japanese news, the boy was telling his classmates that he liked his father, he said his father was very nice and played with him a lot.

he might not have been a good husband, but maybe he was still a good father (until this happened).. very sad.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Selfish bastard! i refrain from posting what this dude deserves on christmas day.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

fishy ... he was ordered to stay away from his kids, for whatever reason, and he responds by trying to grab the kid? assaulting the kids mother in front of the kid!? You call that a "good" dad??!! I call that violent, aggressive and unstable.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Check the father's apartment for a copy of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings. Bet this father saw the scene where Denethor tries to kill himself and his son Faramir with oil.

-21 ( +0 / -21 )

Too bad the father didn't survive, he deserved to feel the intense pain severe-burn victims endure during treatment, and the disfigurement would be a lifelong reminder of how stupid he was. Unfortunately, the son will have to deal with both of these, without deserving either, that is if he is unlucky enough to survive.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

hingingout wrote

Kinda sounds like there are some posters here who are using this tragedy to pound their soapbox on the topic of family law. Shame on the lot of you.

I can't help thinking that the father, as he immolated, and attempted to murder his beloved son, wanted to pound on a soapbox, wanted to have us think about the causes of this tragedy.

He appears to have a Facebook page and videos of his son, this son, playing baseball on Youtube.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I know that because he set fire to himself and his child. People who do things like this almost always have a history of violence.

That's just conjecture. There is something to the conjecture, as the update to the article indicates, but it's still just conjecture. I do find this behaviour utterly incomprehensible and appalling, but I prefer to condemn what the man actually did, not what 'people like this almost always do.'

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Saddened for the kid, depressed that this seems to happen everywhere. I worked with a kid survivor of a similar attack in the 1970s, he had suffered through a battery of plastic surgeries that gave his damaged arms more mobility.

I hope this kid is okay. I hope the family isn't toxic.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Selfish bastard. Similar to the other incident in New York - another scumbag who doesn't have the gonads to keep their kids out of their fights with their spouses.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I really really hope this kid will survive.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm not the praying kind, but I'm praying for this poor child now. Whatever your God, say a prayer.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Ouch. Shed a tear. Men are so hysterical?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I certainly don't condone what this man did but if you have had your son or daughter taken away from you, if you have hired lawyers to fight for you, if you have contacted politicians and reporters, and none of it helps. It is easier to understand how a desperate parent might lose control. Living in pain with severe burns for the rest of your life might be worse than death.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

very sad, wonder what drove him to this. he wasnt stable, for sure. so using words like coward etc are a waste of time. very few sane comments here, and as usual, a half cooked and under-investigated jt article.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

what a freak old man ............ STRESSSSSSSSSSSSS help yourself

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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