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Three Okinawa-based Marines arrested over Halloween weekend in separate incidents

By MATTHEW M. BURKE AND AYA ICHIHASHI | STARS AND STRIPES Published: November 2, 2020

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Three Marines spent part of Halloween weekend in police custody following three incidents, one of which left a fourth Marine with a stab wound, according to Okinawa police.

Police arrested Lance Cpl. Deantwan Isiah Jefferson, 23, of Camp Kinser, on suspicion of stabbing a fellow Marine with a foldable knife at approximately 11:30 p.m. Saturday in the Mihama neighborhood of Chatan, an Okinawa police spokesman told Stars and Stripes on Monday.

The spokesman said Jefferson, who did not take a Breathalyzer test, was intoxicated at the time. No fight or argument preceded the alleged assault, according to police.

The injured Marine is also in his 20s and assigned to Camp Hansen, the spokesman said. Japanese police declined to comment on his condition.

Marine officials did not respond to requests seeking comment Sunday or Monday.

Police expect to refer charges of bodily injury and property damage against Jefferson to the Naha prosecutor’s office. The spokesman said Jefferson broke a desk at the police station while being questioned.

Minutes later and farther north, police took Staff Sgt. Eric Ralen Roberts, 35, of Camp Hansen, into custody on suspicion of assaulting a local man at a Nago city restaurant, a second police spokesman told Stars and Stripes by phone Monday.

Police allege Roberts punched the 52-year-old man in the face following an argument in the Gusuku section of the city around 11:50 p.m.

The police spokesman said Roberts’ blood-alcohol content measured 0.18% after a Breathalyzer test. By comparison, the legal blood-alcohol limit for driving in Japan is 0.03%.

Finally, police arrested Marine Lance Cpl. Kaimelye Helotu Politoni, 20, of Camp Courtney, shortly after 3:15 a.m. Sunday in the Mihama neighborhood of Chatan city on suspicion of assaulting a restaurant-and-bar employee, the first spokesman said.

Police allege Politoni threw the employee to the ground after Politoni was asked to leave the business following an argument with other patrons.

The employee suffered a minor injury to his chin, the police spokesman said. He said Politoni was intoxicated at the time of his arrest and told police he doesn’t remember the incident.

Police are also referring charges of bodily injury against Politoni in Naha and Roberts in Nago, the spokesmen said.

All three Marines were still detained as of Monday morning.

Government spokespeople in Japan typically speak to the media on condition of anonymity as a condition of their employment.

burke.matt@stripes.com
Twitter: @MatthewMBurke1

ichihashi.aya@stripes.com
Twitter: @AyaIchihashi