Sasebo sailor accused of attempted murder
A U.S. sailor from Sasebo Naval Base, Japan, is behind bars this week, accused of stabbing a Japanese woman Saturday in Sasebo city.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Richard Hahn, 25, a master-at-arms from the base security department, was arrested by Japanese police on suspicion of attempted murder at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, following the 3:30 a.m. stabbing, according to spokesmen from the Navy and Nagasaki Prefectural police.
According to police, Hahn is accused of stabbing the 25-year-old woman, whom he had met a week earlier, in the abdomen and arm. The alleged attack reportedly happened in a botanical garden parking lot in the Funakosho district.
The police spokesman said Monday the extent of the victim’s injuries was not immediately known, but Japanese news reports said she is recovering in a local hospital.
A resident who heard the woman’s cry for help called police. Hahn fled the scene, the police spokesman said, but was arrested at his off-base home in the city.
Police said Hahn admitted stabbing the woman, but the motive is still under investigation.
Police on Sunday referred the case to the Sasebo branch of the Nagasaki District Public Prosecutor’s Office.
According to a statement released by the Navy: “Base officials will continue to fully cooperate with Japanese authorities in any way possible. If he is found guilty of any charges the sailor will be held fully accountable for his actions.”
Commander of Naval Forces Japan, Rear Adm. James D. Kelly, was speaking at the Navy Ball in Sasebo on Saturday and visited Sasebo Mayor Akira Mitsutake after the arrest to apologize and express his regret about the incident, according to Kelly’s office.