Pacific edition, Thursday, May 10, 2007

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — A USS Kitty Hawk sailor who was absent without leave for three months was apprehended recently in a Yokosuka nightclub outside base gates.

Seaman Apprentice Clinton Coleman was nabbed by Yokosuka Naval Base security in the Honch nightlife district April 25, Kitty Hawk spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Terry Dudley said in an e-mail.

The 22-year old culinary specialist had been “UA,” or in “unauthorized absence” status, since early January, Dudley said, adding that Coleman was stationed in Japan more than 18 months before he went missing.

The case generated some media attention in the States. Coleman’s parents, both educators in Ohio, contacted local media, a U.S. senator and high-ranking Navy personnel after inquiries about their son’s whereabouts received unsatisfactory responses from the Navy, according to The Dayton Daily News.

However, Dudley said, the Kitty Hawk provided “significant assistance” to the parents and addressed their investigatory and legal concerns.

Coleman currently is in the brig awaiting the next step in his desertion case. UA turns into desertion after absences longer than 30 days, according to military policy.

No decision has been made yet whether the case will be handled by court-martial, nonjudicial punishment or an administrative separation, Dudley said.

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