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A 19-year-old family member of a Kadena Air Base U.S. civilian employee was in Okinawa police custody Friday on charges he wounded a Japanese man in the face with a BB gun during a drive-by shooting.

The incident took place Feb. 7 on Highway 85 in the Yamauchi district of Okinawa City, a police spokesman said Friday.

According to a police report, the youth fired the gun at a car that had pulled up alongside the car he was riding in at 12:45 a.m. Pellets from the gun struck the face of a 26-year-old man in the back seat of the other car, police said.

The wounds, described as severe bruising, required 10 days of medical treatment, the spokesman said.

The injured man identified the unemployed American teenager after police traced the license number of the car he was in. The 19-year-old denied the accusation, the police spokesman said.

He did not know what kind of BB gun the alleged shooter used in the attack. However, the possession of pellet or BB guns on U.S. bases in Japan is illegal.

He said incidents that occur off-base can be referred to Japanese authorities, with indictments resulting in a trial in a Japanese court and a possible sentence in a Japanese jail.

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