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Osaka: Priest sent to prosecutors after road-rage video emerges

OSAKA (TR) – A Buddhist priest has been sent to prosecutors after the emergence of a video showing a road-rage incident in Sakai City earlier this year, police said, reports NHK (Aug. 22).

The video was shot in January by a vehicle trailing the 61-year-old priest. In the clip, the priest pulls his white Toyota sedan from a restaurant parking lot in front of the second vehicle, driven by a 36-year-old male company employee, on a road in Kita Ward.

Over the next roughly 450 meters, the priest repeatedly slams on the brakes of his vehicle in front of the trailing vehicle. At a traffic signal, the priest, attired in a robe, exits from his vehicle and approaches the driver of the trailing vehicle.

According to the police, the priest grabbed the other driver by the collar and shook him. The second driver was not hurt in the incident, police said.

At the time, the priest, who presides over a temple in Matsubara City, was on his way to see a parishioner.

The priest later told police that he became angry after the trailing driver tried to pass ahead of him on the road before he pulled out of the restaurant parking lot. “With only 50 meters between us, he tried to pass on the right,” the priest was quoted. “It’s dangerous. I was asking, ‘What are you doing?'”

He added that he was reflecting upon getting violent with the second driver. “I’m sorry for grabbing him by the collar,” the priest said.