Yokosuka sailors held in separate incidents off base
Japanese police arrested two sailors from Yokosuka Naval Base on Sunday in unrelated criminal incidents, Navy officials said Tuesday.
“Two sailors from Yokosuka were arrested Sunday in separate incidents off base,” Yokosuka Naval Base spokesman Bill Doughty said in a written response to Stars and Stripes. “One sailor is suspected of ‘failure to pay debt’ for fleeing a taxi without paying the fare. Another suspect allegedly assaulted a Japanese citizen. Both suspects were taken into custody by Japanese police, and both incidents are under investigation.”
In the first case, the suspect is assigned to the USS Kitty Hawk, ship spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Terrence Dudley said Tuesday. “A 22-year-old sailor from USS Kitty Hawk was detained by police after allegedly failing to pay a taxi fare in Yokohama. The Navy made immediate restitution to the taxi driver. We do not condone the conduct alleged in this incident, which reflects poorly on the vast majority of our sailors,” Dudley said.
The Japanese news service Mainichi News reported that early Sunday around 1:20 a.m., the Kitty Hawk sailor reportedly hailed a taxi from near Yokosuka base to go to Yokohama. At a red light near the destination, the sailor and another foreigner riding with him jumped out and fled, leaving a 13,800 yen charge — approximately $116 — according to a police investigation, the Mainichi reported. Police found the sailor later at a nearby restaurant; the second person remains at large, the service reported.
In the second case, shortly after 4 p.m. Sunday, a 20-year-old sailor on shore duty at Yokosuka was accused of assaulting a store clerk in a Yokosuka video arcade after losing at a video game, Mainichi reported. The clerk will be hospitalized for about 10 days, police told Mainichi. Neither spokesman could confirm the identity of the sailors in Japanese custody.
The arrests come at a delicate time for the Navy in Japan. A Kitty Hawk sailor is currently in Japanese custody accused of robbing and killing a Japanese woman Jan. 3 in Yokosuka City.
Other incidents for which sailors stand accused in Yokosuka and Sasebo led Navy leaders to crack down on discipline and impose alcohol consumption and liberty curfews for sailors.
On Tuesday, Vice Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, 7th Fleet commander, issued a commentary titled “Putting a Premium on Good Behavior” that states: “Poor behavior embarrasses all who serve. It undermines the trust we have worked hard to build over the last 50 years in Japan and in the Asia-Pacific region.”