Camp Foster Marine recognized for stopping purse snatcher
August 5, 2006
NAHA, Okinawa — The Naha chief of police recognized a Camp Foster Marine and a local dentist Thursday who acted together to stop an alleged bag snatcher recently.
Sgt. Joshua Lee Rule, 30, was in Naha on July 30 with a friend for the eisa dance by 10,000 Troupe, an annual festival on Kokusai Street that attracts a huge crowd of spectators from the island and mainland.
Rule, who is with Marine’s Tactical Air Command Squadron 18, said he heard a cry for help at about 7 p.m. that struck him as unusual, since “Okinawan people don’t usually create a disturbance like that.”
A 59-year-old man said he was robbed of his purse while walking in the street after the festival, said Takashi Shuri, chief for the 3rd division of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Naha Police Station.
“He attempted to recover his purse by chasing after [the alleged thief], but he soon lost the sight of the bag snatcher,” Shuri said.
The man was yelling “dorobo!” — which means “thief” in Japanese — when Rule and Hiroo Nakazato, 48, a local dentist, responded to his shouts, Shuri said.
The two quickly chased after the alleged snatcher, he said.
“I had sandals on, and I didn’t think I was running fast enough, so I kicked them off,” Rule said.
Shuri said the two chased the suspect, who resisted, for about 160 feet.
“When I looked this man in the face,” Rule said, “I wondered what in his life led him to do this because he didn’t even get the money.”
Rule and Nakazato handed the suspect over to police and recovered the victim’s purse, which contained 314,000 yen (about $2,730), Shuri said.
The 45-year-old suspect is being detained at the Naha Police Station, he said.
At an awards ceremony at the Naha Police Station on Thursday, Naha Chief of Police Tatsuji Yamanoha presented Rule and Nakazato with framed letters of appreciation and inscribed glass statues for their actions.
The Camp Foster Provost Marshal’s Office also recognized Rule on Thursday for helping local police prevent crime.