Robbery charges not filed, but three dependents sent back to States
Stars and Stripes August 23, 2009
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — The Navy barred three Yokosuka teens from bases in Japan and sent them back to the United States after they allegedly robbed a Japanese man, base officials confirmed Friday.
Uraga police released the teens Aug. 13 when a Japanese family court declined to file charges in connection with the July incident, prosecutors confirmed Thursday.
However, the parents and dependents paid restitution and apologized to the alleged victim, a 38-year-old Japanese man.
Base officials would not to say how much restitution was paid.
The three male dependents — ages 16, 17 and 18 — were held for 19 to 20 days at different police stations in Yokosuka while charges were being considered, said staff judge advocate Lt. Jonathan Flynn.
On July 8 at 7:30 p.m., the teens allegedly grabbed the man outside Keikyu Otsu station, about three stops from the nearest train station to the base, taking his inexpensive cell phone and a change purse, which contained about 500 yen. Police estimated the value of everything allegedly stolen at about $40.
The teens were caught on video running from the scene just after the time of the alleged theft, police said.
Under Japanese law, anyone under 20 is considered a minor. In such cases, Japanese prosecutors make a recommendation on charges to a family court, which then decides whether to pursue a case.
The incident prompted a personal apology last month by base commander Capt. Daniel Weed to Yokosuka’s mayor.