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Two Futenma Marines admit they attacked cab driver

By CHIYOMI SUMIDA | STARS AND STRIPES Published: May 15, 2008

NAHA, Okinawa — Two Marines assigned to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma pleaded guilty in Japanese court Tuesday to robbing and beating a cab driver in January in Okinawa City.

During an opening hearing in Naha District Court, Cpl. Joseph Wayne Riddle, 20, and Pfc. Reginald Crapps, 19, admitted before a three-judge panel that they attacked a 59-year-old cab driver with a liquor bottle and fled the scene without paying the fare of 2,780 yen (about $27) Jan. 7 in the city’s entertainment district.

According to the indictment, the pair hailed the taxi at a convenience store near Camp Foster’s Kitamae Gate at about 3 a.m. and told the driver to take them to the Mihara section of Okinawa City. Riddle told the driver to stop in an isolated area. As Crapps got out, Riddle from the back seat repeatedly hit the driver on the head with the glass bottle while Crapps punched the cabbie in the face, prosecutor Yukio Nakajima said.

After the driver managed to get out of the car, they chased after him and hit him with the bottle, Nakajima said.

Riddle’s attorney, Miyatomi Harushima, told the court that his client moved among 15 foster homes as a child.

Crapps’ attorney, Satoshi Kawamitsu, said his client also had gone through many hardships as he lived in 20 different foster homes.

Riddle and Crapps are expected to testify, and the prosecutor is to recommend sentences, at the next hearing scheduled for Thursday.


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