During the day, Yakiniku GyuuGyuu was like any other Korean barbecue restaurant found all over Osaka Prefecture, serving prime cuts of meat for the customers to grill to their liking on open flames right at their tables. However, on some nights this yakiniku restaurant took a dark, B-Movie-esque turn for one of its employees.
The unidentified victim is reported to have endured a barrage of physical attacks over the course of months during 2017. On Jan 10, the shop’s 42-year-old owner Masao Mukai, his 26-year-old wife and employee, and 25-year-old manager were all arrested in connection with the three counts of assault and one count of causing bodily injury.
The first incident occurred in July of 2017 when the three suspects allegedly hit the 35-year-old victim in the face dozens of times with a piece of lumber. Another time involved pouring boiling hot water onto the man’s buttocks and thighs.
▼ News report showing the three suspects including Mukai (pictured with a dandelion up his nose).
Also, in October of 2017, the threesome are charged with tying the victims hands together, placing a piece of tissue on a piece of wire, lighting it on fire, and then shoving it up the victim’s nose, causing burns.
But the most severe incident was when the three suspects allegedly used a “decorative” toy crossbow small enough to fire toothpicks into the victim’s face dozens of times. According to police, who confiscated the 10-by-12-centimeter crossbow, it was capable of firing toothpicks at speeds of up to 100 kilometers per hour.
▼ These toys have been the source of controversy in China recently, with many calling for their regulation.
Although the victim had already resigned from the restaurant following the toothpick incident, his family contacted the police who led an investigation back to Yakiniku GyuuGyuu. Upon arresting Mukai, they checked his phone and found images of the victim with toothpicks embedded in his face.
Readers of the news were equally troubled by both the increasing number of assaults in the workplace and the dangers of such a hazardous toy floating around.
“Unfortunately, this news is probably only going to make those things more popular.”
“Where do they sell these?”
“What would they have done if it hit his eye?”
“Those things can pierce an apple or chunk of meat. Only a savage would point it at someone’s face.”
“The guy was 35 and had to work in a place like that…”
“This has got to be a health code violation too. That’s a restaurant, right?”
According to police, Mukai admitted to the charges saying that he and the victim had “money trouble,” and that he had “embezzled money from the restaurant.” The amount that is claimed to have been embezzled is unclear.
Sources: Kyodo News, Sankei News West, Itai News
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