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Okinawa: U.S. Marine suspected of stealing taxi, driving drunk on expressway

OKINAWA (TR) – Okinawa Prefectural Police have arrested a 20-year-old U.S. Marine over the alleged theft of a taxi and assault of its driver in the town of Chatan.

At around 10:10 p.m. on November 7, lance corporal Jamison Michael Bissett, stationed at Camp Hansen, allegedly stole the cab after choking the male driver, 61, and taking 10,000 yen in cash, Ryukyu Shimpo (Nov. 10) reported.

The Ishikawa Police Station arrested Bissett on suspicion of robbery the following day. He was sent to prosecutors on Monday.

“I stopped my acquaintance, who was with me, when he choked the driver,” the suspect was quoted by police in denying the allegations. “I didn’t steal anything.”

The suspect is stationed at Camp Hansen

He “was drunk”

According to police, Bissett was alone when he boarded the taxi. He then grabbed the driver around the neck, which caused him to stop the cab.

The driver told police that he then exited the vehicle to get help. However, the suspect jumped behind the wheel and drove off.

About 8 minutes later, the taxi was found stopped in the median of the Okinawa Expressway around 6 kilometers from where the alleged robbery took place.

Police arriving at the scene found the suspect in the driver’s seat with blood coming from his forehead.

The taxi driver later told police that Bissett “was drunk.” Police are now investigating whether to further accuse the suspect of driving under the influence of alcohol.