A taxi waits at a stoplight in Tokyo's Shinjuku ward in this undated photo.

A taxi waits at a stoplight in Tokyo's Shinjuku ward in this undated photo. (Via Pixabay)

TOKYO — Police say they’ll recommend a new charge — attempted murder — for a 21-year-old Marine awaiting trial for alleged assaults this spring in Japan’s capital.

Lance Cpl. Kahsai Tyree Hill has been in Japanese police custody since he was arrested May 25 on suspicion of punching a taxi driver in the face after not paying a $7.40 fare and then assaulting others while fleeing the scene in Tokyo’s Shinjuku ward, according to local media reports.

Hill, who is assigned to the 3rd Marine Division, is due in court July 30 on bodily injury charges stemming from alleged attacks on the driver and a 22-year-old man, according to Tokyo District Court officials.

However, Tokyo Metropolitan Police decided Thursday that Hill should also be charged with attempted murder in relation to an attack on a 19-year-old Japan Self-Defense Forces official at a Shibuya restaurant, a police spokeswoman said. The rules of her job do not allow her to be named.

Hill put his right arm around the woman from behind and put pressure on her neck with an intent to kill her, the spokeswoman said. The woman fainted and broke a bone in her face when she fell onto the floor.

Hill entered the restaurant after the other assaults, according to a report by the Kyodo news agency.

Police planned to present their recommendation for the attempted murder charge to prosecutors on Saturday, the spokeswoman said.

In May, the III Marine Expeditionary Force said it was aware of theft and assault allegations against Hill. The Marines didn’t immediately respond Friday to questions about the latest developments in the case.

Hill came to Japan for training at Camp Fuji, according to Japan’s Sankei newspaper.

Stars and Stripes reporter Seth Robson contributed to this report. Twitter: @HanaKusumoto

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Hana Kusumoto is a reporter/translator who has been covering local authorities in Japan since 2002. She was born in Nagoya, Japan, and lived in Australia and Illinois growing up. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and previously worked for the Christian Science Monitor’s Tokyo bureau.

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