The Naha District Court building in Naha, Okinawa.

The Naha District Court building in Naha, Okinawa. (Aya Ichihashi/Stars and Stripes)

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — An Okinawa-based Marine accused of choking a taxi driver before stealing and crashing the vehicle has been hit with a slew of new charges.

Lance Cpl. Jamison Michael Bissett, 20, assigned to Camp Hansen, was arrested on a robbery charge Nov. 8, at a local hospital where he had been treated following a crash the previous evening. Bissett was handed over to the Naha District Public Prosecutors Office the day after his arrest and is still in custody.

A fresh indictment Nov. 27 charges Bissett with intimidation, assault, larceny and obstructing business by force, a spokesman for the prosecutors office told Stars and Stripes by phone Wednesday. A trial date may be set as early as mid-December, according to a spokesman for Naha District Court.

Government spokespeople in Japan typically speak to the media on condition of anonymity as a condition of their employment.

Bissett has denied all allegations, a police spokesman has said.

Police allege that Bissett hailed a cab on the evening of Nov. 7 in Chatan and asked to be taken to Camp Hansen. Around 10:10 p.m., about 3 ½ miles south of Yaka Interchange on the Okinawa Expressway, police said, Bissett reached around from the backseat and began choking the driver.

The driver stopped the car in the middle of the expressway and fled on foot, the spokesman said. Police allege Bissett continued north in the taxi.

Bissett allegedly struck the median and crashed the cab near the Yaka Interchange exit, where he was found with a head injury, according to police. Police said the cab was totaled.

Police allege Bissett took approximately $100 from the taxi driver’s change purse. The driver was not injured in the incident. Twitter: @MatthewMBurke1 Twitter: @AyaIchihashi

author picture
Matthew M. Burke has been reporting from Grafenwoehr, Germany, for Stars and Stripes since 2024. The Massachusetts native and UMass Amherst alumnus previously covered Okinawa, Sasebo Naval Base and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, for the news organization. His work has also appeared in the Boston Globe, Cape Cod Times and other publications.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now