Press "Enter" to skip to content

Gifu: 5 youths accused of stoning homeless man to death

GIFU (TR) – Gifu Prefectural Police have arrested five youths over the alleged fatal assault of an elderly homeless man in Gifu City last month, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Apr. 23).

According to police, the five youths are alleged to have fatally beaten Tetsuya Watanabe, 81, on a road early on March 25.

Police did not reveal whether the suspects, some of whom attend a university together, admit to the allegations.

According to police, Watanabe lived under under the Godo Bridge at the confluence of the Nagara and Ijira rivers with a 68-year-old female acquaintance for about 20 years.

Five youths allegedly beat a homeless man to death in Gifu City in March (Twitter)

“My acquaintance is being kicked”

At just after 2 a.m. on March 25, Watanabe and the woman fled after the five youths began pelting the tent with stones.

About 1 kilometer from the bridge, the woman looked back to find that Watanabe had fallen on a road. The youths then allegedly struck Watanabe with stones and kicked him.

“My acquaintance is being kicked by men,” she said by telephone in alerting police. After being transported to a hospital, Watanabe was confirmed dead later that day.

Skull partially crushed

The top of Watanabe’s skull was partially crushed. The cause of death was determined as a cerebral contusion and an acute subdural hematoma, police said. A murder case was then launched.

On four occasions since the middle of March, Watanabe and the acquaintance lodged complaints with police about persons throwing stones at their tent.