Okinawa man indicted in death of Marine pedestrian
NAHA, Okinawa — The Naha Public Prosecutor’s Office on Friday indicted an Okinawa driver accused of striking a Marine crossing a street in Gushikawa on May 23; the Marine later died.
Tatsuya Yohen, 33, from Ishikawa, was charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol and professional negligence resulting in death and injuries, said a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office.
Yohen is accused of striking Marine Lance Cpl. Antonio P. Rodriguez, 19, at 3:55 a.m., just after the Camp Hansen Marine exited a taxi in the Akamichi district of Gushikawa and was crossing Highway 75. Yohen’s car then swerved into the taxi, according to a police report.
Rodriguez sustained severe head injuries and was taken to nearby Chubu Hospital in a state of cardiac arrest. He was pronounced dead an hour later. The cab driver sustained bruises on his abdomen and two passengers in Yohen’s vehicle were treated for neck sprains, police said.
Yohen, who had minor injuries, was arrested at the scene. A Breathalyzer test detected 0.3 milligrams of alcohol on his breath, police said. Driving with a breath alcohol content of more than 0.15 milligrams per liter is illegal in Japan.
Yohen has been held in police custody since the arrest and was transferred Friday to the Naha Detention Center to await trial. He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
Rodriquez, of Pawtucket, R.I., was assigned to the Special Operations Training Group, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force.
No date has been set for Yohen’s trial.