HYOGO (TR) – Hyogo Prefectural Police have arrested a 23-year-old man who mentioned the novel coronavirus pandemic in an attempt to kidnap a group of elementary school children in Kobe City earlier this year, reports the Sankei Shimbun (June 3).
At around 6 p.m. on March 24, Masahiro Tani, a part-time employee, allegedly approached the five boys and girls, aged between 6 and 10, on a street in Tarumi Ward.
“I will give you an examination for corona by touching your body,” he reportedly said in referring to the novel coronavirus. “I won’t give you an injection.”
Upon his arrest on suspicion of attempted kidnapping of a minor, Tani admitted to the allegations. “My intention was molestation,” the suspect was quoted by the Tarumi Police Station.
According to police, two of the children left the scene and reported the matter to their guardians. During that time, Tani fled their scene.
Tani is a resident of Awaji City. He surfaced as a person of interest in the case after an examination of security camera footage.