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Coronavirus conflict: ‘Change on tray’ request leads to drunken drugstore dust-up

FUKUOKA (TR) – Fukuoka Prefectural Police on Sunday arrested a 69-year-old man who while intoxicated allegedly assaulted of an employee at a drugstore in Fukuoka City.

The incident was fueled by concern over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun (Apr. 20).

At around 9:00 p.m., Noriyoshi Naganuma, of no known occupation, allegedly punched the male employee, 34, in the face at the store, located in Sawara Ward.

Upon his arrest, Naganuma admitted to the allegations, the Sawara Police Station said.

The incident took place as Naganuma, who had been drinking, purchased a canned shochu cocktail. When the female clerk tried to hand over the suspect’s change, he complained, “With the ongoing coronavirus, put the change on the tray — do not to my bare hands.”

drugstore in Fukuoka City (Twitter)

After a dispute ensued, the male employee intervened. A female employee later alerted police.

According to data from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the number of coronavirus infections in Japan stood at 10,792 as of Sunday.