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Ehime police: Man takes woman hostage at knifepoint

Outside the residence in Matsuyama City
Outside the residence in Matsuyama City

TOKYO (TN) – Police in Ehime Prefecture are trying to persuade a man to release a woman he took hostage in his apartment, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported on Wednesday (May 25).

Ehime Prefectural Police visited a first-floor apartment in the Misawa area of Matsuyama City at around 8:45 p.m. on Tuesday to inquire about a woman reported missing and a man in his 40s stuck a kitchen knife through the door, warned them “not to enter” and took a woman thought to be a former partner as hostage before barricading himself in a room, the Yomiuri Shimbun reports (May 24).

As of 1 a.m. Wednesday, officials were attempting to persuade the suspect to release the hostage, a woman in her 20s believed to be a former girlfriend who appears to be unharmed.

Police are investigating the incident as suspected false arrest and confinement, taking place at a residential area about 1.3 kilometers northwest of JR Matsuyama Station.

Authorities said the woman’s relatives filed a report on Tuesday afternoon saying a “woman is missing.”

“Looking intense”

A man working at the management company of the suspect’s apartment appeared confused as he told Sports Nippon he “has nothing to say” about the case.

A woman living near the crime scene said, “right now, I didn’t notice anything unusual except for a parked car that looks like an undercover patrol car. I can’t hear any sounds.”

Sports Nippon reported seeing some 10 police investigation officials “looking intense” as they worked at the scene amid rainfall, with a police patrol vehicle in the distance. Residents were also seen coming out of their homes.

The Mainichi Shimbun said the crime scene was blocked off by police tape.

Update: At 1:30 p.m. on May 25, police apprehended the man. The woman was unhurt, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun (May 25).