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Osaka cops: Gang of deaf men beat, rob man met online

Mikiya Hoshitani
Mikiya Hoshitani

OSAKA (TR) – Osaka Prefectural Police have arrested three deaf men for allegedly confining and robbing a man they met via an internet community for those with a hearing impairment, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Aug. 22).

Starting on the night of August 20 and continuing to the following morning, Mikiya Hoshitani, 22, and two other men are alleged to have confined the man, also age 22, inside a station wagon on a road in Chuo Ward and beat him with a metal pipe.

The suspects also allegedly stole 20,000 yen, a bankbook and a notebook from the victim, who suffered injuries that are expected to require two weeks to heal.

The suspects, who have been charged with confinement and robbery resulting in injury, and the victim communicate via the smartphone application Line and a sign-language chatting app. Prior to the incident, the suspects summoned the victim to meet them. He was then forced into the vehicle.

Police are also investigating another eight men, aged between 19 and 40, all of whom suffer from the same disability, on suspicion of participation in the assault, according to the Mainichi Shimbun (Aug. 22).