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Care home trainee arrested for allegedly seriously injuring resident

UTSUNOMIYA -- A trainee at a care home supporting people with intellectual disabilities here has been arrested on suspicion of assaulting and seriously injuring a resident, investigative sources said.

The 22-year-old suspect, who was undergoing training to work at the facility, "Bi Buraito," in Utsunomiya, stands accused of inflicting bodily injury. His name was not immediately disclosed.

Tochigi Prefectural Police also questioned a woman in her 20s, who previously worked at the care home, suspecting that she knows the details of the incident, but later became unable to contact her.

The 22-year-old suspect allegedly assaulted the 28-year-old victim living at Bi Buraito in mid-April this year, leaving him with severe injuries including broken bones, according to the sources.

The victim complained that he fell ill at around noon of April 16 and took a rest in his room within the facility, according to Zuihokai, a social welfare corporation that operates the facility, and other sources. He was rushed to the hospital by ambulance at around 8 p.m. on the same day after his blood pressure fell and he became drowsy.

Doctors at the hospital found that the man had his lumbar spine broken and had lost about a liter of blood from his lien. He was diagnosed with injuries that would take six months to heal. The victim had fallen unconscious at one point but subsequently regained consciousness. He is reportedly undergoing treatment in Tokyo.

The victim's mother said she is glad that her son survived the incident even though he shows facial expressions suggesting stress.

"My son sometimes shows expressions I had never seen before. It may be because of post-traumatic stress disorder, but I'm glad that he's alive," she told the Mainichi Shimbun.

The prefectural police searched the facility, the Zuihokai head office and other related locations on Sept. 11 over the case and confiscated data on individual workers and documents on past accidents. Investigators are also analyzing security video footage at the facility.

The suspect is a resident of another care home for people with disabilities in Tochigi Prefecture that Zuihokai runs, according to officials at Bi Buraito. At the time of the incident, the man was undergoing training at Bi Buraito as part of a program to help him reintegrate into society.

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