SAITAMA (TR) – Saitama Prefectural Police arrested a 47-year-old man after more than 20 persons were sickened by pepper spray at a mall in Koshigaya City on Monday, reports NHK (Apr. 30).
At just before 7:00 p.m., two men were seen opening a can of pepper spray under a table at a cafe on the second floor at Aeon LakeTown.
A total of 22 persons subsequently complained of suffering from a sore throat or stinging to the eyes. Among them were an 11-year-old boy and his mother, 47, both of whom were transported to a hospital, according to the location fire department.
After witnesses reported seeing the men fleeing the scene, police had sought their whereabouts. At around 10:00 p.m., Katsuhiro Seki, of no known occupation, surrendered at a police station. Officers subsequently arrested him on suspicion of assault.
“I may have accidentally sprayed the pepper spray I had in my possession, but [the spraying] was not intentional,” Seki was quoted by police in denying the allegations.
Seki also said that while he entered the cafe with an acquaintance he was the only one who sprayed the pepper spray.