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Authorities on Monday continued to search on and off base at Sasebo for a man who on Sunday dragged a Japanese police officer 30 feet with a stolen van, according to a spokesman for Nagasaki prefectural police in Sasebo.

The van crashed into a main gate at Sasebo Naval Base and later was abandoned near a family housing area early Sunday morning, according to both military and police spokesmen.

It was unclear Monday whether the suspect was a servicemember or affiliated with the base, according to Sasebo Naval Base spokesman Charles Howard.

At about 5:15 a.m. Sunday, a 22-year-old police officer spotted a van that had been reported stolen about half an hour earlier, according to the police.

The officer, whose name police withheld, opened the passenger’s side door to question the driver. The van took off, dragging the officer for about 30 feet, the police spokesman said.

The officer suffered minor bruises and cuts on his head, shoulder and elbows, and his trousers were ripped off, the police said.

Howard said all naval commands on ships and shore were conducting a full accounting of their sailors to assist with the search.


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