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OKINAWA CITY — A 21-year-old soldier punched a local police officer in the face and was arrested Friday morning, an Okinawa Prefectural Police spokesman said.

The Army Special Forces private first class, based at Torii Station, punched and kicked the 43-year-old policeman about 6:45 a.m. in the Uechi district of Okinawa City, the spokesman said.

The soldier’s blood-alcohol was 0.65 milligrams — the equivalent of about a 0.13 blood-alcohol level, according to the spokesman. The legal limit in Japan is 0.15 milligrams, or a 0.03 blood-alcohol level.

The soldier reportedly passed out in a bar in the Uechi area, and the proprietor called police to escort him out of the building, the spokesman said.

When a policeman arrived, the soldier staggered into the street and drove away in a car, the spokesman said.

At a red light, the policeman tried to pull the soldier out of the car when the soldier became combative, the spokesman said. The policeman suffered no serious injuries.

The soldier was arrested on the spot for obstruction of justice and remained in custody late Friday.

The soldier has denied the accusation, the spokesman said.


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