TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Wednesday announced the issuing of an arrest warrant for a former leader of the boszoku motorcycle gang Kanto Rengo over the beating death of 31-year-old restaurant manager Ryosuke Fujimoto last September, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 10).
Police charged Taichi Ishimoto, 31, who is already under prosecution for fraud, with illegal assembly with weapons over the incident that took place at club Flower in the Roppongi entertainment area.
In the early morning hours of September 2, a group of males in ski masks and armed with metal bats arrived at the club and assaulted Fujimoto, who was drinking in the club’s VIP room with a party of five or six persons. The victim suffered substantial head injuries and was transported to a nearby hospital, where he died an hour and 20 minutes later.
Footage released by police shows nine men, many in dark jackets and pants, moving toward Flower at 3:40 a.m. The suspects are seen fleeing the scene in two vans at 3:45 a.m.
Ishimoto is believed to have arrived at the scene by taxi from his apartment in Minato Ward. The security footage allegedly shows him and other members of the group near the scene of the crime.
According to Sports Hochi (Jan. 10), police have thus far issued 17 arrest warrants. Seven of these suspects are believed to have fled Japan for Shanghai, Beijing, and Hawaii.
The Kanto Rengo group broke up about 15 years ago but their members still operate in various forms. Ishimoto, who was previously arrested in September for fraud related to a real estate transaction, participated in a drunken brawl involving kabuki star Ichikawa Ebizo in 2010.