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Inmate escapes from Hiroshima prison

49 Comments

Police in Hiroshima on Wednesday launched a manhunt for a Chinese man serving 23 years for attempted murder after he escaped from a prison in a residential area in Naka Ward.

According to police, the prisoner -- Li Guolin, 40 -- exercised each morning at 10 with a group of prisoners. Prison guards noticed him missing at 10:40 a.m., Fuji TV reported.

Security camera footage showed a man dressed in white prison garb climbing over the 4.5-meter-high wall at 10:30 a.m. The walls were under repair and scaffolding had been put up inside and outside the perimeter, Fuji TV reported. The walls are normally electrified but had been turned off so as not to endanger workers, prison officials said.

The prison is surrounded by condos and there are several schools in the area. Children were sent home from a nearby school as soon as news of the manhunt broke.

Prison officials called a news conference on Wednesday afternoon and apologized for the lapse in security and for the 45-minute delay in reporting Li's escape to police.

Wednesday's escape wasn't Li's first escape, NHK reported. Wanted for robbery, he was arrested in May 2005 after a shootout with police. During the gunfight, he was shot in the thigh and spent three days in hospital. While he was being transferred from the hospital to a police station, police undid his handcuffs and he stole a police car. After a 30-minute chase, he crashed his car into another patrol car and was captured, NHK reported.

Police have put Li on the nationwide wanted list. He is 173 cm tall, weighs 66 kilograms and has close-cropped hair.

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49 Comments
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Okay.... 145 lbs and about 5'8" with short black cropped hair.... i don't see an age but that just described about half of the Japanese population... 60 million suspects and counting

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Reminds me of a story a friend shared with me. While he was being detained for something, there was a holding pen and he was there with a few other detainees. One guy was from China and he was gleefully slipping out of his handcuffs. In short, I don't think Chinese detainees/inmates think much of the police here in Japan. Then again, who does?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

and why was a bit of common sense not utilised and some guards posted at the wall where the scaffolding was placed during the times the electricity was turned off? grrr...so ridiculous but typical at the same time!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Prison breaks are rare in Japan. I can't recall ever hearing about one until now. I'm surprised other prisoners didn't also use the scaffolding to make a bolt for it. I guess Japanese prisoners dutifully do as the guards tell them.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If he attempted to escape from custody before than why wasn't stricter security enforced onto this inmate?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

i don't see an age but that just described about half of the Japanese population... 60 million suspects and counting

you may narrow your range further as tv reports indicate that he belongs to an Organized Crime Syndicate.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Wow! I didn't know they put prisons in residential areas! It is also unbelievable how trusting the J-cops are....I mean, this guy has tried to escape once, it makes sense to watch over him in case he gets the urge again.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

no way! that guy seems tough as nails, escaped multiple times to evade arrest, i wonder what drived him to do such things, did it say what he did to serve 23 years, thats alot of time so must be something bad.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Security camera footage showed a man dressed in white prison garb climbing over the 4.5-meter-high wall at 10:30 a.m.

I guess no one was monitoring the serveillance cameras, Security was lax to allow something like this.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

". The walls were under repair and scaffolding had been put up inside and outside the perimeter," Imagine that happening in other prisons around the world.... Cue for a mass breakout!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

FrancisDara, you said it.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

So he already escaped one before and they thought housing him in a residential area was a good idea??

FrancisDara, indeed!!

-7 ( +0 / -6 )

did it say what he did to serve 23 years, thats alot of time so must be something bad.

Yeah, it was written pretty deep into the story though (halfway through the first sentence) so anyone could have missed it, really. "Attempted murder"

i don't see an age but that just described about half of the Japanese population

It was hidden next to his name in the second sentence. He's 40.

If you guys need some more help with this complicated text please let me know, hey?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20120111-00000030-jijp-soci.view-000

Above is his photo,by the way.

Another source says he ran only in his underwear, leaving his prison uniform behind. In the middle of the winter!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Police have put Li on the nationwide wanted list. He is 173 cm tall, weighs 66 kilograms and has close-cropped hair.

He's not Japanese? He'll be apprehended in a week tops. I love the description by the way. That's every Chinese man on the planet. Felony stops for every Chinese man walking down the street. My Chinese friends...get ready for the Dragnet.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Prison breaks are rare in Japan

They just havent notice the other prisoners missing yet ;)

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

I'm shocked to hear that there are schools surrounding this prison. I know Japan doesn't have an abundance of land but talk about bad location!

This guy is either innocent and found guilty (cuz he's gaijin) OR he's a stubbon criminal!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

There you go! Datsugoku 1! lol He is a scum, but I always root for the underdog! Go Datsugoku! ?Give J-cops something to work on!

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

prison containing attempted murderers etc in a residential area, with construction and scaffolding so the prisoners can climb over the wall with the electric fence turned off. Guys escape is not noticed for 1/2 hour, and then not reported to police for another 45 minutes? brilliant! BTW where is elbuda to say: I hope this attempted murderer gets caught ASAP!!!!! ?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

6wingsJan. 12, 2012 - 08:24AM JST

LOL

0 ( +4 / -4 )

A joke on so many levels, incompetence at its finest, laziness, lax security, and cunning again.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

There's a recession on and a prisoner wants to forgo free hot food and lodging in exchange for freedom to join the masses of the starving unemployed?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Serving 23 years for attempted murder? That's crazy. I would have jumped the wall as well for such a sentence. Hope he can make it back to China safely. And why releasing kids from school? Is he a child abuser? Hysterical Japan.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

I agree Patrick

Serving 23 years for attempted murder? That's crazy. I would have jumped the wall as well for such a sentence. Hope he can make it back to China safely. And why releasing kids from school? Is he a child abuser? Hysterical Japan.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Hey, isn't it romantic to think that the gut enjoys the only free moments he can?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

What would you do in freezing temps in your underwear?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

What does underwear have to do with the fact that he escaped over a wall with scaffolding? It is the escape that matters.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The only hope for the cops is if he turns himself in. I reckon he is already on his way to China.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Saito Akemi is looking for a replacement for Hirata. He could stay there for a long time and nobody would find him.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

OK, so I have a question for all of you who think his sentence was extremely harsh: what sentence you think would be good for a shootout with cops? A ten thousand yen fine and apology letter?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

not reported to police for another 45 minutes?

The 45 minutes was probably spent looking for him in prison. Then they contacted the police to say they couldn't find him. If it was 'Contact police' THEN look for him in prison and they find him in prison, the local police would be terribly 'confused.'

OK, so I have a question for all of you who think his sentence was extremely harsh: what sentence you think would be good for a shootout with cops?

Five years, mas or menos. 23 years for a murder is understandable.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I guess the cops assigned in the prison didn't think it's possible for a prisoner to try to escape. They were probably thinking "arienai", even with the two-sided scaffolding, electric fence shut down, and even probably jailguards who were busy watching AKB videos.

@mekki

A ten thousand yen fine and apology letter?

Well, the government officials get away with deep bows and several "gommenasai" used in their speeches.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

He was actually jailed on a total of ten charges, including robbery, attempted murder, the previous escape attempt, destruction of property (presumably the patrol car), etc.

This is actually the first successful (so far anyway) escape from a prison in Japan in more than 22 years (excluding juvenile reform centers, etc.), and while the prison had security cameras, etc., only one guard was posted to keep track of 50 or so surveillance monitors. Definitely a sense of "it can't happen here" in a facility where it's probably never happened before.

He won't have much luck getting out of the country without a passport, but he may have access to accomplices, etc. who could take him in--provide him with some warm clothes, perhaps--and keep him under wraps, so to speak...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Most Grand Theft Auto games start with a scenario like this.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I didn't know they put prisons in residential areas!

Probably the prison was out in the middle of nowhere to start and the town grew and encroached on it. Our local psychiatric hospital is so, it was built at the edge of the mountains amid the rice paddies, now it's crowded with homes, shops, and a train station.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Rumour says that a guy from the robbery syndicate has seen him for many times and talked in cipher to concert the breakout meticulously. Another has it that after jumped out the prison he made away with a jersey cloth was at a house nearby so as not to stand out. Yeah prison garbs are as much conspicuous as oldfart-style loose tights in the outsideworld. its not unlikely for eldery men to hang around in their momohiki even in winter. So did my grandpa lol

now that he seems to have got out of the city, hiroshima people apear indifferent towards this.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This prison was built in 1888. Hope they catch the SOB.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

shirokuma2011, Himajin, Wataru

Great share of info, thanks!

Hope they catch the SOB.

I hope it would be soon than later. Even though he can't easily get out of the country, he can still travel locally and stay low for many years (cough like the one who surrendered after 17-years)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

http://www.jiji.com/jc/d4?p=psn124&d=d4_mili&rel=y&g=phl

wow this is the wall he jumped out. they say that the top of the wall is 4.5m high. but dunno if the scuffoldings have been removed or there weren't initialy. they say that the top of the wall is 4.5m high. I dont hope the prison wasnt that lax in risk management.

given there were not the scaffoldings how is that possible he didnt break his legs?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Thanks for the photo, Wataru. Even with the scaffolding, that does not look easy at all to scale!

My guess is he's looking for a way out of the country - fishing boat, perhaps?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He's probably headed here to Okinawa where it's (at least a little) warmer than mainland Japan. I'm sure when they catch him, they will notify us on TV using the "peep peep" sound with kanji at the top of the TV screen. It's like watching a movie, it is!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I was not equating the local psychiatric hospital with a prison....just giving an example of facilities generally built away from housing areas. Another is old-age homes. The older ones in the countryside I know of are built in the woods, away from everything else, perhaps by not having cars always going by, they reduce the temptation for a flight risk? In general, old age homes, psychiatric hospitals and prisons were built at the edges of municipalities, and now the towns have reached their doors.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Elvensilvan

"Well, the government officials get away with deep bows and several "gommenasai" used in their speeches."

I have trouble trying to remember the last time a government official has been in a gun fight with the cops.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"Police have put Li on the nationwide wanted list."

He must be terrified. Now it takes only an average of 17 years and surrendering twice for the cops get to him.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There are presently 1,145 inmates at Hiroshima prison. Most were sentenced to eight years or less. Li Guolin is the fourth man to escape from a Japanese prison since 1982.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Quote MaboDo: "What does underwear have to do with the fact that he escaped over a wall with scaffolding? It is the escape that matters.

Sorry, I disagree. I think catching him is what matters. The questions stands.

Would you hide inside a building nearby? Would you have an accomplice in a car nearby? Would you steal clothes from a washing line? Would you break in, steal a kitchen knife, kidnap someone and demand keys to the car, etc.?

I hope that the Police are asking these questions, even if you aren't.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I've said it before and I'll say it again, JPs are a joke.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Keystones at it again. Cue Benny Hill music.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

That really is a high wall to scale, and he must have taken a chance the power to the electrified fence was turned off.

Of course, if he did hurt himself in the escape, and went back to the prison to give himself up, it is possible they did not believe his story and told him to go away...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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