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CHATAN, Okinawa — A 19-year-old Marine was in Okinawa police custody Tuesday after allegedly striking a police officer who was questioning him concerning an incident at a bar.

An Okinawa police spokesman said the Marine was at a police substation in Chatan’s Kitamae district near midnight when he hit the officer. The lance corporal’s name was not released because he is considered a minor under Japanese law.

The Marine allegedly left a bar near the Kitamae gate of Camp Foster without paying for $15 worth of drinks at 11:10 p.m. Monday.

According to a police report, the bar owner identified him to police. The Marines was taken for questioning to the police koban.

After being questioned for about 10 minutes, the Marine became violent and punched a 42-year-old police officer in the abdomen, the police spokesman said. He was immediately arrested and charged with interfering with a police officer in the line of duty, the spokesman said. The police officer was not injured.

However, a charge of leaving the bar without paying the tab was dropped after a friend of the Marine paid part of the tab and the owner said it was OK, the police spokesman said.

Police were to refer the case to the Naha District Public Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday.

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