US sailor arrested for allegedly taking indecent photos of Japanese schoolgirl

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — A sailor was arrested on suspicion of trying to take indecent pictures of a Japanese student while on a public bus, Yokosuka police said Wednesday.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Tyler Joseph Routon, 22, was arrested in Yokosuka city at 8:25 a.m. Tuesday after he allegedly placed a cell phone near a 17-year-old girl’s feet and tried to take a picture up her skirt, a police spokeswoman said.

A passenger witnessed the incident and notified police.

Routon, who was on his way home after working a night shift, denied the allegation, claiming he was only trying to take a picture of the girl’s face, according to the police spokeswoman. Prior to his arrest, the sailor smashed the phone on a metal pole inside the bus, police said. Authorities plan to analyze the broken phone, the spokeswoman said.

Routon remained in police custody Wednesday.

Police are referring the case to the local prosecutor’s office with a recommendation of charging him with violating Kanagawa Prefecture’s nuisance prevention ordinance.

Navy officials Wednesday confirmed that a submarine group sailor had been arrested Tuesday for allegedly causing a nuisance and destroying evidence, though they declined to confirm the sailor’s name unless he is indicted.

The incident is under investigation and Navy officials are cooperating with Japanese police, according to a Navy statement.

Navy records list Routon as assigned to Commander Submarine Group 7 at Yokosuka.

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