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Chiba cops: Group killed boy by dropping him from bridge

Junta Okata (L) and Masumi Watanabe
Junta Okata (L) and Masumi Watanabe
CHIBA (TR) – Chiba Prefectural Police have arrested the members of a four-person group that allegedly killed a 17-year-old boy by dropping him into a river in Kashiwa City, reports Nippon News Network (Jan. 5).

Police allege that Yohei Kojima, a 22-year-old company employee, Masumi Watanabe, 21, Junta Okata, 20, and a 19-year-old male, forced Ryuta Sato to hang from a bridge over the Tega River early Monday morning before he fell to his death.

At 6:10 a.m., an ambulance was called to the scene. The naked body of Sato was found at the bottom of the river. He was later confirmed dead at a nearby hospital.

Kojima, who has been charged with murder, denies the allegations while the other three suspects admit to the charges.

According to the Kashiwa Police Station, the suspects told the victim that he had the option of being beaten or jumping into the river. He was then forced to hang from a railing before he fell.

Police believe that money problems between Sato and Kojima may have lead to the incident.