Two airmen arrested after taxi incidents on Okinawa
Two airmen are in the custody of Okinawa police following attacks on taxis early Saturday at separate locations near Kadena Air Base, Okinawa.
Senior Airman Richard F. Thornton, 27, of Kadena Air Base was arrested at 4:40 a.m. Saturday after throwing a car tire at a passing taxi at about 4:00 a.m. on Highway 58 in Kadena Town, according to a duty officer of the Okinawa prefectural police in Kadena Town.
The 54-year-old taxi driver and his passengers were unharmed, but the windshield wipers of the taxi were damaged, police said. Damage is estimated to be about $770, the police said.
Thornton walked away from the scene but was arrested later when police officers found him in a nearby convenience store, the official said. The airman was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the arrest, according to police.
Police said Thornton admitted to throwing the tire, telling investigators he was frustrated because he could not catch a taxi.
Meanwhile, another airman assigned to Kadena was arrested Saturday at 4:20 a.m. in Okinawa City after he kicked a taxi awaiting hire on Gate 2 Street, near the air base, according to a duty officer of the Okinawa prefectural police in Okinawa City.
Airman 1st Class William F. Thorn II, 20, allegedly kicked the passenger-side door of the taxi at about 4:16 a.m., then walked away from the scene. The driver, who found the door damaged, reported vandalism to police, the official said. Four minutes later, Thorn was arrested by police officers patrolling the area, he said.
The official said Thorn was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the arrest and admitted to damaging the door. Damages are estimated to be about $470, he said.