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YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Police arrested a USS Blue Ridge sailor Sunday for allegedly punching two Japanese women in Yokosuka, officials said.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Jon Michael Cockrell is accused of attacking two 50-year-old women on a street in Yokosuka’s Hinode district, a spokesman for Kanagawa prefectural police said Monday.

Police accuse Cockrell, 30, of approaching the women from behind around 12:45 a.m. and hitting them in the head. He then beat one of the women in the face at a nearby parking lot, the spokesman said.

The bruises on the women’s heads and faces will require about two weeks of medical treatment to heal, he said.

Police apprehended Cockrell near the crime scene and arrested him at the Yokosuka police station at 3:30 a.m. Sunday, the spokesman said.

Police said the case has been transferred to Yokohama District Public Prosecutor’s Office to determine whether there will be an indictment.

Neither Japanese police nor Commander, Naval Forces Japan officials would speculate on a motive and would not say if the incident was alcohol-related.

CNFJ spokesman Cmdr. David Waterman said it would be “inappropriate to comment on the investigation at this time.”

The Japanese police have primary jurisdiction over the case and the U.S. Navy is “fully cooperating and working closely” with them, Waterman said.

Waterman said it would be “inappropriate to speculate” about whether Yokosuka sailors’ liberty would be affected by the incident.

Currently, many Yokosuka sailors have to submit individual liberty plans detailing their movements during their off-hours. They also are required to have a “liberty buddy” with them when they are consuming alcohol.

These measures, plus an off-base alcohol curfew of 2 a.m., were put into place after a number of sailor-related crimes in the area, including the January 2006 fatal beating of a 56-year-old Yokosuka woman by a USS Kitty Hawk sailor.


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