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CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A Marine was in military custody Tuesday as a suspect in an armed robbery last week that left another American with a stab wound to his neck.

The Marine was identified by Okinawa prefectural police as Sgt. Michael L. Avinger, 30, of Camp Schwab. Marine officials confirmed a Marine has been identified as a suspect but declined to confirm his identity until formal charges have been filed.

A police spokesman said a charge of robbery resulting in injury against Avinger was forwarded to the Naha Public Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday.

Avinger is the second person to be held in the Oct. 25 incident that left Bryant White, 22, bleeding from a stab wound to his neck.

According to Okinawa police, two people attacked White about 10 p.m. after driving him to Hamahiga Island from Okinawa City. They allegedly stole a wallet containing about $100, a cellular phone and a wristwatch. The crime was reported after White, bleeding, stopped at an Okinawa home and asked for help.

White, according to Okinawa police, is not currently connected to U.S. forces on Okinawa.

He was listed in stable condition in Chubu Hospital in Uruma.

On Thursday, Okinawa police took Darian Preston Daniels, a 29-year-old spouse of a sailor, into custody after he surrendered at the prefectural police station in Okinawa City. He was later transferred to a police station in Uruma. On Friday, police forwarded against him a charge of robbery resulting in an injury to the Naha Public Prosecutor’s Office.

A prefectural police spokesman said Avinger will remain in military custody until he is formally charged, in accordance with the Status of Forces Agreement between the U.S. and Japan.

“We understand that he admitted part of the accusation,” the spokesman said.

Okinawa prefectural police asked the military for cooperation in the investigation.

According to Okinawa police, White had befriended Daniels and Avinger a few weeks ago and had accepted a ride with them the night of the incident.

Japanese authorities are handling the case because White is not in the country under the Status of Forces Agreement.


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