crime

Policeman discharges weapon after suspect strikes him and tries to steal his bike keys

35 Comments

Kanagawa prefectural police said Friday that a police officer in Yokohama discharged his weapon at a suspect who attempted to run away after trying to steal the keys of his police bike.

The incident occurred at around 1 p.m. on Thursday. TV Asahi quoted police as saying that the 42-year-old police officer on his scooter pulled over a man driving a minivan for violating traffic regulations. According to police, the driver of the vehicle suddenly lashed out from his car window and struck the officer, and then attempted to snatch the keys to his patrol bike.

The officer said he pulled back, drew his weapon and fired a warning shot into the air. The assailant suddenly lurched forward in his vehicle in an attempt to flee the scene, prompting the officer to fire his weapon at the vehicle.

Police said the driver was apprehended about 600 meters away from where the confrontation had taken place. The suspect was charged with interference of police duties and for assaulting an officer.

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35 Comments
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Not very wise to do that.

Anybody nearby could have been hurt or killed by such stupidity.

What goes up must come down..,,

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Firing shots in this situation sounds completely unwarranted. By driving away, the driver no longer posed a threat to the police officer and it seems like no-one else. Sounds like emotions on both sides were running high but it hardly called for a wild west style shoot-out. Police who can't properly deal with drivers who are angry about being stopped should probably find a different line of work.

11 ( +16 / -6 )

Anyone know what caliber these pistols are, what make? I know they are revolvers, but what are they?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

CrickyMay. 30, 2014 - 05:00PM JST Anyone know what caliber these pistols are, what make? I know they are revolvers, but what are they?

A variety of 38 cal revolvers. New NANBU M60 is common, it's based on S&W designs. Some (plainclothes) officers carry SIG P230.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Oh well. Maybe he had seen too many movies where bunches of police officers unload countless rounds at fleeing vehicles.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Cheers, from the holsters I thought .38 S&W copy. I have asked but been told to ask their supervisor thought it was a National Secret. Must take time to draw out of that type of holster. SigP230 they are modern and very cool. Hope none of these need to be used in the future.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"According to police, the driver of the vehicle suddenly lashed out from his car window and struck the officer, and then attempted to snatch the keys to his patrol bike."

IMO for all those who constantly claim J-land is a safe place compared to the US...*I agree" in this situation/incident because if this incident happened in LA, NY, or any other major city in the US , and/or many other countries this guy would not see a judge as in practically all such case in Japan but rather be taken to the the coroner or a morgue.

So in this sense/respect Japan is safer than the US

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Warning shots. Got to love the cowboy logic. Unless you are looking right at someone you don't know if it was a warning shot, an accidental discharge, or an attempt to take your life. Its not really a wonder that people flee so-called warning shots.

So does a warning shot mean stop or does it mean you can go anywhere as long as its away? Even a clear answer probably won't help because shooting a gun is just going make a panic situation even more panicky. But again, cowboy logic. A warning shot means whatever the shooter wants it to mean, and if you don't read minds, he shoots up your car and some passersby too, and cowboy logic says its all okay.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Not good. Surely a cop should pull a gun as an absolute last resort, when there's a danger to life?

Maybe I'm oversensitive, having grown up in England where the police are unarmed, but I'd hate to see the use of weapons become normal in Japan.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

The cop should get into trouble for this. I am sorry but I don't see why he needed to fire his gun.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

"struck the officer"

I agree with Horenzo, you never strike a cop in America..or you get badly hurt or die.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

A warning shot in the air? Wow, where did this cop learn that move? On T.V.? At the movies? I'm pretty sure they don't teach that at the academy. Actually, I'm pretty sure they teach NOT to do that.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

"...well do you, punk?"

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Hear hear. The JT crowd who otherwise always blame the J cops for bring cowards and losers suddenly moves over to the opposite side if a J cop then does draw the gun after all.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I have to say, it's kind of refreshing that something like a mere warning shot actually makes the news here. On the other hand, it makes me wonder about the level of firearms training that police receive here. To serve and protect with a gun is a great responsibility.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Rule #1 of gun ownership: "Warning shots into the air are NEVER to be fired." That bullet will expend its energy in the climb, then by the time it returns to earth it will have reached terminal velocity. Someone struck by the spent bullet could be seriously injured.

This policeman needs his weapon removed until he undergoes training on its proper use. Apparently he slept through the course the first time he attended.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The use of " Deadly Force " was certainly not authorized, and discharging a firearm for any reason OTHER than defending yourself from said force is irresponsible.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The use of " Deadly Force " was certainly not authorized, and discharging a firearm for any reason OTHER than >defending yourself from said force is irresponsible.

In other countries if the officer just shot the guy at first (instead of a warning shot) yes it would be justified because of this:

"According to police, the driver of the vehicle suddenly lashed out from his car window and struck the officer, and then >attempted to snatch the keys to his patrol bike."

In the US for example, if a police officer pulled over a driver, and the driver lashed out striking the officer and reaching for the keys of the bike yes that could be grounds for the officer defending himself. From the officer's point of view he could be reaching for keys or he could be reaching for the officer's weapon, he just hit me, now he's trying to kill me.

I always say, it's easy for you or me to become critics of police actions, but we weren't there, these things happen in miliseconds. From the sounds of it the driver the minivan was some crazy guy.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Most police officers are trained to draw a weapon as a last resort. If a suspect poses no threat to the officer's life or the lives of others, there's no reason to fire a gun. Get the license plate, call it in (which I would hope the officer did before approaching the vehicle), and when the guy runs for it, call in backup. None of this is rocket science.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Firing warning shots are NOT okay! That bullet will come down eventually. If that bullet hits someone then the police officer better take responsibility for it!! As for firing a weapon at a man running away is NOT okay either. To use deadly force the suspect must have 3 things.. 1) the OPPURTUNITY to kill someone which he NEVER had! 2) the CAPABILITY to kill someone, which this article doesn't explain very well. 3) he must show INTENT to harm others. When he was driving away he DID NOT have the OPPURTUNITY, CAPABILITY, or INTENT to harm the police officer!!! The RIGHT THING TO DO is call for back up!!! This Police Officer should have his weapon suspended!!! Every roind fired from that gun must is his responsiblity... Thank God no one was injured!!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Rock, Paper, scissors, GUN!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The JT crowd who otherwise always blame the J cops for bring cowards and losers suddenly moves over to the opposite side if a J cop then does draw the gun after all.

@CGB Spender Not one person has complained about the cop drawing the gun. Firing warning shots in the air and firing at a fleeing suspect is cowardice!

In other countries if the officer just shot the guy at first (instead of a warning shot) yes it would be justified because of this:

@Badge213 In the moment of time you mention, I would back the cop up for shooting the guy. But that moment was over when he started shooting at the suspect. Shooting at an unarmed fleeing suspect is out of the question. Even shooting at an armed fleeing suspect is not always warranted. The warning shot in the air was also out of the question.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A warning shot makes no sense. If an officer pulls a gun, he should shoot the guy or don't pull the gun. Than to shoot at a fleeing vehicle doesn't make sense either. It is not like the driver had a gun and was shooting. The officer definitely needs some weapons training. Now I hope the J-cop finds the bullets that the officer fired. They should be able the find the second shot but the first can be anywhere. Good thing this wasn't in the middle of the day with kids around. That "warning shot" could have kill someone.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I agree with Horenzo, this cop did a great job! Try doing that in the USA, you will be lucky to be alive.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This is the only country in the world that you see a suspect yelling an cursing at police officers during a stip or questioning. if you did the same thing in the US you would be locked up.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've commented on similar incidents of police heavy handedness with guns before but have been shot down (pardon the pub). This is the worst yet, a presumably unarmed person driving away after, admittedly a stupid attempt to take a policeman's keys and the policeman opens up. It's like something from the Wild West and a completely unacceptable use of a firearm by an officer of the law.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

B.B.Q. Demon, I don't agree with your comment. A shot to the sky is meaning "you are warned". Quite fair in this situation.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Drawing your weapon is the LAST resort and shooting a warning shot? Unsafe and unacceptable!! Then shooting at the car to stop the man??? I read this like the guy was trying to escape, not hurt other people.

Now if the suspect was attacking people as he was escaping, then I understand the second shot. However, it does not seem to be the case. Totally reckless unwarranted use of his sidearm!

I am not condoning the suspect's actions at all. He needs to go to jail

0 ( +0 / -0 )

i wonder if any of my japanese reading friends could tell me WHERE in yokohama this occured?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Juan Rodriguez wrote:

I agree with Horenzo, this cop did a great job!

There is absolutely no situation in which firing a gun into the air can be part of "doing a great job." Only idiots fire guns into the air. As other posters have said, the bullet's do come down and they are deadly.

In 2011, a man in Ohio fired a gun into the air and killed a 15-year-old Amish girl driving a horse-drawn buggy more than a mile away.

On July 4th, 2013, in Virginia a 7-year old boy was hit by a stray "celebratory" bullet as he walked to a July 4 fireworks display with his father. It wasn't until he was being treated in hospital that doctors discovered the gunshot wound in the top of Brendon's head.

In the US, firing a gun into the air is illegal. In March, a man in Philadelphia was sentenced to 20 years for firing a gun into the air even though no one was injured. (The sentence was long because it was his second felony.)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Jason Gomez

i wonder if any of my japanese reading friends could tell me WHERE in yokohama this occured?

Exactly where you thought it would happen: Konan, close to Isogo.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I applaud the officers here for the general hesitation in pulling out a weapon and discharging it, but I'm not 100% sure this officer was wrong in doing what he did.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

but I'm not 100% sure this officer was wrong in doing what he did.

Without having witnessed the incident, I'm 100% sure the officer was wrong in firing a projectile with no intended target. That constitutes reckless endangerment.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yes, firing "warning shots" anywhere IS reckless endangerment. If the officer felt threatened enough to draw his weapon he should've discharged a round square in the assailant's chest.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Jason 1 Chome Hinochūō, Kōnan-ku, largely including the park area surrounding Zenkouji https://www.google.com/maps/place/1+Chome+Hinoch%C5%AB%C5%8D/@35.3916384,139.58654,2742m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x601844ca519217fb:0xfe9345559954951b?hl=en It appears to be somewhere in the park area (not that firing a gun into the air is okay in a park) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uHXOmzLVLo

The police chief is describing the incident as, at the present time as, "[the police officer was] appropriately carrying out his duty."

Are you allowed to deadly force to stop someone getting away with your bike keys? Judge Dredd? I sincerely hope not. I guess the policeman got cross. Not cool, but the driver is said to have punched the cop in the face about ten times.

Hold on, no I am wrong. And according to Japanese law on the use of firearms (article 7, part 1) http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S37/S37F30301000007.html In order to "stop the behaviour" of someone, when appropriate a police officer can "fire his gun into the air, or other safe direction" (上空その他の安全な方向に向けてけん銃を撃つことができる。 ) The whole of article six and seven encourages shouting a warning, and then firing a warning shot ("into the air or some other safe direction") before firing at, unless the other is about to harm someone in which case it is acceptable to fire without a warning shot.

It does not seem to list the "behaviours that can be stopped" in this way, but bearing in mind that the police officer went by the book (shouting three times "I'll shoot", firing a warning shot), that fleeing after hitting a police officer in the face is one of them.

Similarly in the USA at least it is permissible to shoot at a felon (not a misdemeanant ) if they are fleeing arrest at least in 1950 when the below was written. http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3737&context=jclc

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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