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SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — A USS Essex crewmember remained in Japanese custody Monday following his arrest last weekend after running over a woman’s foot, according to Nagasaki prefectural police.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael C. Gonzales, 26, was arrested Saturday around 1:50 p.m. after allegedly running over a 21-year-old woman’s left foot with his car around 1:30 a.m., Lt. Edward Sisk, Amphibious Group I spokesman, said Monday afternoon.

A police spokesman said the woman walked in front of the car when Gonzales was pulling onto a downtown Sasebo street from a parking lot.

“Instead of helping her, he ran away,” the police spokesman said. The woman sustained injuries on her foot that will take a week to heal, he said.

According to Sisk, after Gonzales drove over the woman’s foot, he apologized to her and thought she was OK before he left the scene.

“We are working in full cooperation with the Japanese authorities to resolve the matter appropriately,” he said.

Gonzales had not been charged Monday, Sisk said, but he remains in custody for suspicion of departing the scene of an accident before the arrival of Japanese police and professional negligence resulting in injury.

The incident occurred during a Commander, Naval Forces Japan and Seventh Fleet-mandated “period of reflection” after the beating death last week of a 56-year-old Yokosuka woman. A USS Kitty Hawk crewmember is in Japanese custody in connection with the case.

During the time of reflection, Sisk said, “ … we must all make a moral commitment and do our utmost to consistently do the right thing, on and off duty.”

Stars and Stripes reporter Hana Kusumoto contributed to this report.


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