SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan – A sailor from the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard is being detained after he allegedly attacked and injured a fellow sailor, Navy officials said.

People who witnessed the July 6 incident, which took place in front of the Chili’s restaurant at Sasebo Naval Base, said the sailor struck his victim with what looked like a hatchet.

Officials would not comment on what led to the altercation, nor the weapon used, but said a 19-year-old sailor assaulted a 28-year-old sailor with an “object” then fled. He was detained a short time later and transferred to the brig at Yokosuka Naval Base, according to U.S. Naval Forces Japan spokesman Cmdr. Kenneth Marshall. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating.

Marshall said the injured sailor, also assigned to the Bonhomme Richard, is being treated at a civilian hospital, but no further details on his condition were available. Navy officials said he was struck in the leg.

The Navy is not compelled to release any further information because no charges have yet been filed, according to Marshall.

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Matthew M. Burke has been reporting from Okinawa for Stars and Stripes since 2014. The Massachusetts native and UMass Amherst alumnus previously covered Sasebo Naval Base and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, for the newspaper. His work has also appeared in the Boston Globe, Cape Cod Times and other publications.

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