Two Iwakuni Marines arrested ; command offers apology for off-base incidents
Two Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni Marines were arrested last Saturday in unrelated incidents off base, prompting local leaders to demand more responsibility from the installation and base officials, Japanese police reported.
In the first case, Cpl. Terrence L. Hughes, 20, was charged with causing property damage after allegedly throwing a bicycle at a 46-year-old Japanese man’s car parked in a parking lot in Hinode-cho outside base, shattering a window. The cause of the incident is under investigation, said base spokesman Maj. Stewart Upton.
The damage occurred around 11 p.m. Friday. Witnesses called police, who found Hughes in the area. After an investigation, he was arrested at 5:55 a.m. Saturday and remained in police custody Monday night, Upton said.
In the second incident, Sgt. Elijah M. Christopher, 23, was arrested and accused of drunken driving around 5:30 a.m. Saturday after rear-ending two vehicles waiting at a red light along Route 2 in Shinminato-machi, police reported.
One person was injured, however the extent of his injuries was not available Monday. Christopher was released by police and visited the victim with members of his command on Monday, Upton said.
Also on Monday, base leaders met with local officials to apologize for the incidents and pledged to continue educating Marines about good conduct, drunken driving and behavior off base.
“We will re-emphasize through training and education of our personnel in order to prevent such incidents in the future,” Upton said in a statement.
City officials asked for better accountability from the base to prevent future incidents.
“We want to express our regret for the incidents that occurred this last weekend. It is truly regrettable that someone was injured,” Upton said in the statement.