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Fukuoka: Knife-wielding man apprehended after holding 2 girls hostage

FUKUOKA (TR) – Fukuoka Prefectural Police apprehended a knife-wielding man after he held two girls hostage inside a restaurant in Fukuoka City for about six hours on Tuesday, reports TV Asahi (Apr. 21).

“I held a grudge from when my time working [there],” Yuki Watanabe, a former employee, was quoted by the Minami Police Station upon his apprehension.

One of the girls, 6, suffered a minor injury to a finger. The other, 3, was unharmed, police said.

The incident began at the unagi (grilled eel) restaurant in Minami Ward at around 8:30 a.m. “A man with a knife entered my shop,” the proprietor, aged in his 30s, said in alerting police.

Police arriving at the scene then attempted to coax Watanabe to surrender over the subsequent six-hour period. During the standoff, officers gathered on the roof of the building, holding a thick mat.

At around 2:30 p.m., he released the girls and surrendered the two knives he was holding, both of which he took from the shop.

A man held two girls, aged 3 and 6, hostage inside a grilled eel restaurant in Fukuoka City on Tuesday (Twitter)

“He is a danger to himself”

The shop is located on the first and second floors of a four-floor building near Ohashi Station on the Nishitetsu Tenjin Omuta Line. The proprietor lives with his wife and two girls on the third and fourth floors. The 6-year-old girl, an elementary school student, was at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

When he entered, Watanabe sought to talk proprietor, who along with his wife managed to flee after the suspect picked up the knives.

A male acquaintance of the proprietor told Nikkan Sports (Apr. 21) that Watanabe had been dismissed from his post several days before the incident. On Monday night, the suspect’s mother alerted police. “My son is troubled by money,” she said. “He is a danger to himself.”