|Source: Nippon News Network|
Police in the city of Omitama in Ibaraki Prefecture are searching for a member of an organized crime group who was in a wheelchair when he successfully managed to escape from police and avoid arrest.
According to police, at a little after 1:00 PM on December 16th, 3 police officers were preparing to arrest Yushiyuki Yuhara, a 41-year old member of the organized crime group Matsuba-kai, as he was being discharged from an Omitama city hospital in Ibaraki Prefecutre. However, before being taken into custody, Yuhara, who was in a wheelchair, said to the officers “I want to go for a smoke.” The 3 officers then let Yuhara wheel himself over to the nearby smoking area. As police were waiting, a car approached Yuhara, he stood up, jumped in the car and it drove away before police were able to stop it. Police are currently still looking for Yuhara.
In June of 2015 police put out a warrant for Yuhara’s arrest for alleged possession of stimulant drugs. Earlier this month, on the 6th, police went to Yuhara’s residence in order to arrest him but he injured his leg when he jumped to the ground floor from his second floor residence in an attempt to escape from police. It was due to these injuries that Yuhara was hospitalized and police postponed his arrest.
Although on the surface this seems like a case of dumb cops I have my suspicions that it’s actually a case of the police giving special treatment to someone with organized crime connections. It doesn’t matter if the man was in a wheelchair I simply can’t imagine that it is routine to allow someone with a history of attempting to escape from police to “go for a smoke” before their arrest. Plus, there is a rather long history of police, for various reasons, giving special treatment to yakuza. Unfortunately, that is a very complicated topic but if you would like to know more about it I recommend reading Jake Adelstein’s excellent book, Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan.