Okinawa airman fined $1,000 for vandalizing building
March 17, 2008
NAHA, Okinawa — Airman Wesley Kevin Taft, 21, was fined 100,000 yen (about $1,000) Friday for breaking windows of an office building near Kadena Air Base in Okinawa City’s Chibana district March 1.
The incident was one of several that occurred during a two-week restriction of all Americans connected to the U.S. military to the bases or their off-base homes.
It was not known Saturday if Taft faces disciplinary action for violating the restriction.
He had been held in Okinawa police custody since he was apprehended by police responding to a burglar alarm at the offices of the Okinawa Contractors Association.
According to a police report, Taft was spotted about 600 feet from the building and ran when he saw police. After a short chase he attempted to hide in bushes, but was caught and taken into custody.
Lying near him was an iron pipe he later told police he used to gain access into the building.
A police spokesman said Taft had been drinking and admitted jumping over a fence on Camp Shields during the curfew.
Damage to the offices was estimated at 50,000 yen (about $500).
Police said nothing was taken from the office.
Stars and Stripes reporter Chiyomi Sumida contributed to this report.