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OKINAWA CITY — A former Marine arrested for robbing a cab driver Thursday had repatriation back to the United States in mind, Okinawa police say.

A police spokesman Friday said Errol Jackson, 23, told police he thought getting caught would result in a free ride back to the States.

“He told police that he was in despair after having a quarrel Wednesday evening with his wife and committed the robbery thinking that it would be all right if he was repatriated,” the spokesman said.

Discharged from the Marine Corps in December, Jackson stayed on Okinawa to be with his Japanese wife, the police spokesman said, adding that Jackson had not yet found a civilian job.

According to the spokesman, Jackson left his Okinawa City home at 7 p.m. Wednesday. At about 3:45 a.m. Thursday, he was in the city’s Chuo district and waved down a cab, directing the driver to take him to a quiet residential area.

According to the police spokesman, Jackson told the cabbie to stop, reached over the seat and held the man’s head in the crook of one arm while punching him in the head. The cab driver freed himself and ran away to call for help. When he returned with police, a coin box containing about 7,500 yen (about $65.80) had been removed from the vehicle.

The 55-year-old driver sustained bruises and scratches to his head, the police spokesman said.

Jackson was taken into custody about 6:30 a.m. when a policeman spotted him at a vending machine, the spokesman said. He was taken to the Okinawa City police precinct for questioning and remained in police custody Friday, accused of robbery resulting in injury.

The spokesman said a Marine Corps official confirmed to police that Jackson was discharged in December and had been assigned to Camp Foster. The spokesman said Jackson readily confessed to the crime and said he hoped to be repatriated as a result.

Charges were to be presented to the prosecutor’s office Friday. Under Japanese law, the prosecutor can decide whether to try Jackson or order him removed from the country.

But repatriation wouldn’t mean a free ride back, a spokesman for the Japan Immigration Office in Naha said Friday.

“The airfare must be borne by the person himself,” the official said. “If the person has no financial resources, his or her family is responsible for the cost. In a case like the robbery in Okinawa City, the bill would be sent to him or his family through the American Consulate.”


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