WAKAYAMA (TR) – Wakayama Prefectural Police last week arrested a 20-year-old male government worker for allegedly injuring an elementary school girl with what he claims was tear gas in attempting to molest her, reports NHK (Dec. 22).
At around 3:10 p.m. on December 19, Yusuke Miyashita, a temporary employee in a construction division of Tanabe City, allegedly sprayed a liquid on the face of the girl as she commuted home from school on a road in the Kamihaya area of Tanabe.
The girl suffered injuries that will require roughly three months to heal, according to the Tanabe Police Station.
Miyashita, who has been accused of inflicting injury, admits to the allegations. He told police upon his arrest on December 20 that he was not acquainted with the girl, who attends Kamihaya Elementary School.
According to Mainichi Broadcasting Service (Dec. 21), the suspect said that he used a can of tear gas to carry out the crime. He added that he discarded the can at an unspecified location after the incident.
“In getting near the girl to fondle her body, I sprayed her with tear gas,” the suspect told police, according to NHK. “However, I fled after she started crying.”
“An employee of few words”
According to the city, Miyashita had been absent from work frequently this month. On the night of December 18, the suspect requested a day off for the following day.
“He takes a serious attitude towards work,” said Kazunori Yamazaki, the chief of the general affairs section at the city, at a press conference on December 21. “He has a quiet personality and is an employee of few words.”
Fled by car
Prior to the incident, the suspect stopped the girl and asked if she knew the location of a nearby toilet. He then grabbed her by the hand sprayed the tear gas in her face, an investigative source tells Nikkan Gendai (Dec. 22).
The suspect fled the scene in what the girl later told police was a silver sedan. Using the information about the car, which turned out out to by a Toyota Aqua, and surveillance camera footage, Yamashita surfaced as a person of interest. When police showed the girl a photograph of Yamashita, she confirmed he was the perpetrator.