U.S. military children arrested in Japan - update
When teenagers start playing stupid pranks they do not normally end up causing an international problem. This kids put a string across two poles that knocked a woman off her motor bike. The Japanese police are calling it attempted murder. It maybe the string was not going across a road. Perhaps it was being used for a game of tennis, netball or something similar and may not be a prank at all? Whatever its an international incident.
Tokyo, Japan (CNN) -- Four American teenagers, all children of U.S. military personnel, have been arrested on charges of attempted murder after a woman was knocked off her motorbike with rope strung across two poles, Japanese police said.
The four suspects -- two 15-year-old boys, a 17-year-old girl and an 18-year-old man -- were taken into custody on Saturday, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department said.
They are accused of causing a severe head injury to a 23-year-old restaurant employee by stringing a rope between poles across a road.
U.S. Forces Japan was informed of the August incident in late October, a public information officer said. There was no clear explanation for the delay in the handover of the suspects to police, other than it involved rules between Washington and Tokyo covering U.S. forces and their dependents in Japan.
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Japanese police on Saturday arrested four American teenagers suspected of stringing a rope across a street near the base in August and causing a Japanese motorcyclist to crash, seriously injuring her.
The teens, whose parents are servicemembers stationed at Yokota, were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder but have not been charged, authorities said.
Japanese police can question adult suspects for 48 hours and hold them an additional 21 days while prosecutors determine whether to file charges. Though the young Americans are considered juveniles under Japanese law, they could be charged as adults. It was unclear Saturday how long they could be held in custody.
Tokyo Metropolitan Police executed the arrest warrant after more than a week of discussions between U.S. and Japanese officials over whether the teens should be exempt from arrest until formally charged — as is the case with U.S. troops and most civilian employees under the status of forces agreement.
Before Saturday, the U.S. had maintained that dependent family members qualify for the same protections as military personnel and that the teens — who surrendered their passports to base officials late last month — should not be taken into custody.