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Saitama: Man accused of murdering acquaintance with shove from bridge

SAITAMA (TR) – Saitama Prefectural Police have accused a 51-year-old man of killing a male acquaintance earlier this year by shoving him from a bridge in Gyoda City, reports Kyodo News (Nov. 4).

Early on August 14, Naoki Takayama, a company employee, allegedly pushed Haruo Arai, then 46, from the Musashi Bridge and into the water of the Tone River about 14 meters below.

That morning, a fisherman found Arai’s body about 300 meters downstream from the bridge. The cause of death was drowning, police said.

Upon his arrest on suspicion of murder on Wednesday, Takayama admitted to pushing Arai, according to the Gyoda Police Station. But he added, “There was no murderous intent.”

Naoki Takayama (Twitter)

Dispute over the bill

The suspect and the victim are both from Kumagaya City, Gunma Prefecture. The bridge spans from Kumagaya to Gyoda, Saitama.

Prior to the incident, Takayama and Arai were out drinking with other persons at a bar in Kumagaya. The pair is then believed to have gotten into a dispute over the bill.

Takayama surfaced as a person of interest in the case after police examined security camera footage.