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66-year-old man dies in Japan police custody after raging over shopping bag fees

The Kanagawa Prefectural Police headquarters are seen in the city of Yokohama in Kanagawa Prefecture. (Mainichi/Akihiko Yamamoto)

YOKOHAMA -- A 66-year-old man who became violent at a second-hand shop in the city of Hadano, Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, has died after he was taken into custody at a local police station, police announced on Feb. 7.

Police said the unemployed man from the nearby city of Odawara had no noticeable external injuries, and a judicial autopsy will be performed to confirm the cause of death.

"We believe the custodial methods were appropriate, but we will look into the cause (of his death)," commented Tatsuya Ishihara, deputy chief of the prefectural police's Hadano Police Station.

The man reportedly became infuriated at the store at around 2:50 p.m. on Feb. 6 after being told he will be charged for a shopping bag. He is then said to have engaged in violent behavior, such as grabbing a clerk by their collar. An officer who was notified of the incident took him into custody at the Hadano Police Station.

But as the man reportedly continued to struggle, five officers grabbed him by his arms, legs and head to take him to another room. His condition then deteriorated suddenly, and he died in a hospital at around 6:10 p.m.

(Japanese original by Shunsuke Kamiashi, Yokohama Bureau)

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