OKINAWA CITY — A 21-year-old airman assigned to Kadena Air Base was in police custody Monday, accused of violating Japan’s Sword and Firearm Control Law.

An Okinawa police spokesman said Airman 1st Class Deon J. Williams was arrested at the police station in Okinawa City after being brought in with two other airmen for questioning concerning the attempted theft of a newspaper at 3:30 a.m. from a vendor in Okinawa City’s Goya district.

A folding knife with a 2.8-inch blade was found in one of Williams’s pockets, the police spokesman said. The Sword and Firearm Control Law prohibits possession of all knives with blades longer than 2.4 inches, switchblade knives and all swords, spears and daggers.

Police patrolling the area were alerted by shouts from the newspaper vendor and saw one of the airmen throw the paper back on the vendor’s cart. The three were taken to the police station for questioning; Williams was held after the knife was found, the police spokesman said.

The other two airmen were released. Police referred the case against Williams to the Naha District Public Prosecutor’s Office on Monday afternoon.

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