crime

Police questioning man over kicking of visually-impaired girl

30 Comments

Police in Saitama Prefecture said Saturday they are questioning a 44-year-old man over an incident on Sept 8 in which a visually-impaired high school girl was kicked in the leg from behind near JR Kawagoe Station.

Police said the man, who has not been named, had agreed to be questioned on a voluntary basis after he was identified through witness accounts and street surveillance camera footage, TBS reported.

Police were quoted as saying the man is an outpatient at an institution for mentally disabled people in Saitama Prefecture and does light work there.

Police said the man has been non-committal in his answers to their questions about the incident. Police said he will be examined to determine if he is mentally responsible for his actions.

The incident took place just before 8 a.m. last Monday. The high school girl told police she had exited JR Kawagoe Station and was walking on the yellow Braille blocks toward the bus stop to catch a bus to Hanawa Hokiichi Gakuen, a school for the blind and visually impaired. She said that someone in front of her hit her white walking stick. She said the person then kicked her right leg from behind, knocking her to the ground.

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Police were quoted as saying the man is an outpatient at an institution for mentally disabled people in Saitama Prefecture and does light work there.

Well, someone has to say it, so I will. There are a lot of people walking around like this who really need to be under better supervision. I even avoid using certain bus and subway lines so that I can avoid them (usually they are entitled to free travel if they use municipal transport). I do not have an issue with them travelling anywhere they please, I just think that they should be better supervised while they do so.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Just out of curiosity, how could they determine if he agreed "voluntarily" if he's not mentally responsible for the crime?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The story says he will be given an examination to determine whether he can be held responsible.

Police said the man has been non-committal in his answers to their questions about the incident. Police said he will be examined to determine if he is mentally responsible for his actions.

Yeah, well, if he is not mentally responsible for his actions he should be in a bloody institution and not walking around in public kicking blind people! I saw some crazed young guy kick a girl on the train the other day cos she gave him a dirty look as he was hanging off the handle in an upright sleep. I was in saitama at the time too, but that is 'probably' just a coincidence.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

I was coming home on a jammed Yamanote at about 6:15pm when I noticed this idiotically dressed girl get on. Wearing a neon pink skirt and with bleach yellow hair, she shoved rudely through a dozen commuters and ended up on the hanging strap next to me. I stared in disbelief at the side of her head and she never even turned to glance at me once. So cool was her manner. Each stop had her banging into me and I grew more and more furious. Noticing my outrage, two salarymen in front of us looked at me and her to-and-fro in a worried manner double-taking between this little beatch and myself. I felt they shared my bemusement at such rudeness. When I got to my stop I was urged by indignation to give her a massive shove in the back and send her sprawling for her manners. I sighed and relented and as I pushed by her I saw the cane she'd been holding in her other hand the whole time. She was blind. The two salarymen could see the cane, obviously. From their perspective, I must've looked like a nutcase.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

If he cannot take responsibility for his own actions, then someone else has to (parent, guardian, or care giver), otherwise he is a danger to society.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

From their perspective, I must've looked like a nutcase.

Well, that was nice of them to watch the blind girl and not give her a seat as she struggled to balance for several stations.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Well, that was nice of them to watch the blind girl and not give her a seat as she struggled to balance for several stations.

You obviously don't live in Japan! ;-)

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Tessa-No, I do. But just because every one is guilty of this horrid selfishness, doesn't mean we should turn a blind eye and say 'shoganai'

11 ( +11 / -0 )

I know it's the age of blogs and comment sections where we must give opinions right away, but lets wait to see if this is the man who did it. They're questioning him as of now, not convicting him.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

But just because every one is guilty of this horrid selfishness, doesn't mean we should turn a blind eye and say 'shoganai'

Well, I'll share my "blind eye" experience. One day I was dashing through a rush hour crowd on a train platform, and in front of me was a young lady who kept getting in my path. I muttered under my breath "out of my way, lady!" in English. And then she turned to me with a lovely smile on her face, and gasped "oh senk you berry much!" Then I saw the white cane, and realized that she didn't understand what I'd said, and that she assumed that all English speakers were kind and helpful (because I guess in her experience, foreigners generally were).

Needless to say, I felt like a steaming pile of you-know-what for the rest of the day. Just awful.

And I find it interesting that foreigners are perceived as being more helpful than Japanese. Is that true?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Lock this miserable nut-case up where he belongs - well away from society. I just hope the poor girl recovers mentally.

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Yeah, well, if he is not mentally responsible for his actions he should be in a bloody institution and not walking around in public kicking blind people!

It's so obvious. You just institutionalize the people whose mental issues might make them a danger to others. That's easy enough to assess. I can't imagine why this hasn't been thought of before.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"he was identified through witness accounts and street surveillance camera footage"

"lets wait to see if this is the man who did it."

I'd like to see the man and the camera footage...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Its sad state. Why was he unsupervised if he was prone to bad behavior.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

" Police were quoted as saying the man is an outpatient at an institution for mentally disabled people in Saitama Prefecture "

Well, obviously he should be an inpatient. If he attacks helpless people on the street, he is a danger to society.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

OK, the police say he is an outpatient getting some kind of psychological assistance. Fine, I get that. But he must have some cognitive ability if he only chooses victims who can't fight back. Now if this "mental patient" had been kicking people indiscriminately, say a high school rugby player who could have put him in a different kind of hospital, I would be a bit more sympathetic but since the alleged kicker has only kicked on a defenseless girl, I'm not so sure this isn't jusrt a convenient excuse. Sure Japan has lots of people who should be sitting sedated in a padded room. But Japan also has a lot of people with "conditions" that just seem to justify their bad behavior kind of like salarymen who can't be held responsible for bad behavior because they were drunk. and can't remember anything.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@hidcreft: The two salarymen could see the cane, obviously. From their perspective, I must've looked like a nutcase.

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Anyone would suspect you are some kind of pervert for observing one girl. You were lucky,

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tessa: "And I find it interesting that foreigners are perceived as being more helpful than Japanese. Is that true?"

Might be the perception, but I doubt that it's true. At least, I doubt it's disproportionate or anything. I do know that I've helped blind or visually impaired people, or helped people carry heavy items up stairs (elderly or young mothers with a kid strapped to them who have to lug a stroller around, etc.), and always give up my seat for others I feel need it more than I while others have passed all the aforementioned by, and in all probability those I've helped made a bigger deal out of it later if they noticed I'm a foreigner (ie. the visually impaired). So, that's possibly why such a perception exists if it in fact does. I can tell you though that I've been helped any single time I've asked for it, and then some, and have been asked if I need it by Japanese who sense I might (even if I don't), so again, not disproportionate.

In the case of the potential suspect in question, I agree with those posters above; if he is deemed mentally incapable of responsibility for his actions, he should not be out and about where he can do them so freely.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Well, if this is today's top news story then I'm glad I live in Japan. Bad as it is, can you imagine somebody kicking a blind person making the national news anywhere else?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Richard Marsolais "Its sad state. Why was he unsupervised if he was prone to bad behavior."

Maybe he wasn't prone to bad behavior. Maybe he frequently flew off the handle and attacked people. But there is nothing in the article to suggest that. Maybe this was his first such incident.

samwatters "But he must have some cognitive ability if he only chooses victims who can't fight back."

We don't yet know why he kicked this particular girl or whether he had kicked five rugby players the day before or made a habit of only kicking blind people or had never before hit anyone at all.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Educator60. "We don't yet know why he kicked this particular girl or whether he had kicked five rugby players the day before or made a habit of only kicking blind people or had never before hit anyone at all."

I'm sorry but I don't know what your point is.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

samwatters "I'm sorry but I don't know what your point is."

My point is that you (and others) are making some large assumptions based on very little.

What is the point of doing that?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Are the police sure they've got the right guy? Maybe he just resembles the guy on the surveillance camera...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Educator60. Fair enough. We should allow all of the information to be gathered and that process is still ongoing. You have a valid point.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Police said he will be examined to determine if he is mentally responsible for his actions.

If he was deemed safe to walk the streets alone, then he is responsible, or the mental institution staff have failed miserably.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

samwatters at Sep. 14, 2014 - 10:20AM JST @Educator60. Fair enough. We should allow all of the information to be gathered and that process is still ongoing. You have a valid point.

Thanks Sam, It seems to be a point that many people don't get. And I find that very worrisome. Not that I think you would do so but this type of reaction is what, given the right combination of circumstances can lead to lynch mobs and the like. That said, if it does turn out that the man has a history of similar attacks and is mentally unfit, then I'd be the first to say he should be institutionalized.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

September 14, 2014 3:50 P.M JST =Tessa- they should be better supervised while they do.< I know of a middle-aged woman who has registered with the local social welfare council and got her name taken down on the list of the visually-unchallenged ready to guide a visually-challenged person, accompanying him or her when they are to travel out of town whenever she can get around to doing so. Whenever there is someone ready to help out, they should be able to take advantage of the kindness without feeling any sense of indebtedness, since she is to get a nominal amount of money for car fare from the council. But puting myself in the shoes of those visully-impaired people, I have got the feeling that if and when they are requested to be accompanied by someone who can see, it might end up putting a restraint on their part in getting around on their own, depriving them of a certain level of autnomy, which I am sure would go against the spirit of living together in our own ways, regardless of whether we are able-bodied or disabled, since that is what we were born with, not what we have chosen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A great example of how to go from "outpatient" to "inpatient" very quickly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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