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Airman drops in on couple in hotel

By DAVID ALLEN AND CHIYOMI SUMIDA | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 23, 2008

MISAWA, Japan — A Japanese couple in an off-base "love hotel" had an unexpected visitor this weekend when a U.S. airman dropped through the roof of their rented room.

Airman 1st Class Lawrence A. Bopp Jr., 21, was in Japanese police custody Monday after he allegedly broke into a business that caters to couples renting rooms for "short terms," said a spokesman for the Aomori prefectural police in Misawa.

The spokesman said Bopp, assigned to Misawa Air Base, is accused of climbing onto the roof of the single-story building, breaking out a small attic window, and then maneuvering through a crawl space to the ceiling of a guest room.

According to the police report, Bopp was removing some tiles, possibly in order to get a better view of the room, when he fell through the ceiling, startling a 38-year-old Japanese man and his companion, who were asleep. The incident took place about 3:50 a.m. Saturday.

Bopp was arrested at the scene by police officers shortly after the hotel guest called hotel staff, the spokesman said.

Air Force officials at Misawa confirmed Bopp was in Japanese custody. They said he was 21 years old and assigned to the 301st Intelligence Squadron.

The Japanese man told police he felt like he was going to have a heart attack when he awoke to a loud crash and saw Bopp’s body falling, according to the police report. Bopp told police he did not know the couple and did not remember anything leading to the fall.

The police spokesman said Bopp, who was not a hotel guest, landed near the bed, but was uninjured.

Although it appeared Bopp had been drinking, police do not believe he was heavily intoxicated, the police spokesman said.

"A drunk could not have climbed to the single-story hotel’s roof," he said. "Even for a young man in good shape, it would not be easy to climb onto the rooftop."

Police referred a charge of trespassing against Bopp to the Aomori District Public Prosecutor’s Office, the spokesman said.


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