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Home caregiver nabbed on suspicion of fatally attacking disabled Sapporo man

The Hokkaido Prefectural Police headquarters is pictured in Sapporo's Chuo Ward on Feb. 25, 2019. (Mainichi/Taichi Kaizuka)

SAPPORO -- Police on July 21 arrested a man on suspicion of fatally assaulting a person with disabilities he was providing care to at the victim's home, it has been learned.

Koji Ota, 24, a care staffer and a resident of Sapporo's Toyohira Ward in the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, stands accused of inflicting bodily injury resulting in the death of Shigeki Yamashita, 35, an unemployed resident of Sapporo's Higashi Ward.

"I got upset as the man wouldn't go to sleep," Ota was quoted as telling investigators as he admitted to the allegations against him.

The suspect specifically stands accused of beating and kicking Yamashita in the face, chest and abdomen several times between around 5:30 p.m. on July 19 and about 7:30 a.m. the following day, leading the victim to die from cerebral hernia.

According to the Hokkaido Prefectural Police's Sapporo Area Higashi Police Station, Yamashita, who was living on his own, had disabilities with his motor function and was unable to move freely. Ota, a Higashi Ward home nursing care service company employee, was providing care to him by staying over at the victim's home.

The incident came to light after a hospital where Yamashita was admitted alerted police.

(Japanese original by Yui Takahashi, Hokkaido News Department)

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