Airman charged along with teens in cabbie robbery
NAHA, Okinawa — Prefectural police Tuesday identified the airman suspected of abetting four teenagers accused in the robbery of an Okinawa cab driver March 16 as Airman 1st Class Antowann Brunson, 22.
A recommended charge against Brunson of robbery resulting in injury was forwarded to the Naha District Public Prosecutors office Tuesday.
Brunson is assigned to the 18th Security Forces Squadron on Kadena Air Base. Air Force officials would not confirm the airman’s name or rank.
“An 18th Wing Airman was placed in the Camp Hansen Brig under the terms of the U.S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement,” Beth Gosselin of the 18th Wing Public Affairs said in an e-mail response to Stars and Stripes.
According to the charge, Brunson allegedly conspired with the four teens, ages 16 to 19 and all sons of active-duty servicemembers, to rob a 55-year-old cab driver shortly after midnight in a popular entertainment district in Okinawa City.
They allegedly attacked the driver as he opened the trunk of his car and ran off with a coin box containing about 8,000 yen (about $80).
According to an Okinawa police spokesman, authorities believe Brunson was at the scene and drove the getaway car. The youths, who are in Okinawa police custody, told investigators that Brunson helped plan the crime and let them hang out at his home on Kadena Air Base, the police spokesman said.
The driver sustained bruises on the back of his head and his thigh, according to the police report.
A police spokesman said Brunson admitted to investigators that he was at the scene when the robbery took place, but denied he played a major role.