A 32-year-old man, who was arrested for theft on Monday afternoon, escaped from Nishinomiya police station after the 19-year-old police officer watching him in the questioning room dozed off.
Police mobilized about 170 officers to find Takami Yonezawa, an unemployed resident of Osaka City, but he turned himself in on Tuesday at around 1 p.m., accompanied by a lawyer. He denied the allegation of theft, and did not elaborate on why he ran out of the police station nor why he turned himself in.
Police said Yonezawa was arrested Monday afternoon on suspicion of theft, accused of stealing a bag from a parked car in Nishinomiya City at around 3 a.m. that morning. He was taken to Nishinomiya police station where a 34-year-old sergeant and a 19-year-old constable started questioning him at around 3.30 p.m.
About half an hour later, the sergeant left the room for 10 minutes to print out some documents, during which time the constable fell asleep. Yonezawa was not handcuffed while in the room, but was bound to the chair he was sitting in by a rope. He was able to free himself from that, left the room, and managed to leave the police station without being seen.
Police said the 19-year-old constable had graduated from the academy in January, after which he was dispatched to Nishinomiya police station. This month, he has been undergoing training in criminal procedures. As to why he fell asleep, the constable said he was tired, and along with the sergeant may be subject to disciplinary measures.
Chiaki Yoneda, chief of the police station, said there was no procedural issue with arresting Yonezawa twice for the same alleged theft, and said he was disappointed his officers had created unease among the public.© News reports