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Ex-cop accused of groping on Tokyo train held over attacking man during escape

A sign for the Metropolitan Police Department is seen in this file photo. (Mainichi/Kenji Yoneda)

TOKYO -- A former police officer accused of groping on a rush hour subway train in the capital's Chiyoda Ward has been arrested under suspicion of causing injury after knocking a man in his 20s down a flight of station stairs and leaving him unconscious in an altercation on the morning of Feb. 17.

According to the Metropolitan Police Department's Kanda Police Station, the arrested man, Masao Shinada, aged 52 and a resident of Wakaba Ward in the eastern Japan city of Chiba, is a company employee and former police officer.

The incident reportedly unfolded after Shinada was accused of molesting someone while riding a train on the Toei Shinjuku Line during the rush hour period at around 7 a.m. He alighted at Jimbocho Station, and a nearby member of station staff restrained him, but he broke free and ran off.

It was at that point that the younger man heard the commotion and pursued Shinada, and the two reportedly got into a scuffle as the suspect was descending a flight of stairs. The victim is said to have fallen down the stairs from a height of about 2 meters, and had to be transported to hospital. His condition was reported to be serious; he suffered injuries including a fracture to his skull, and was left unconscious.

After overcoming the now hospitalized man, Shinada escaped to a platform for Toei Mita Line subway trains, but was restrained by another passenger. He was then arrested on the spot by officers from Kanda Police Station.

Police said he has partially admitted to the allegations of causing injury, reportedly saying: "I was trying to shake him (the man in his 20s) off, and he fell. I wasn't trying to hurt him." In response to the suspicions he molested another passenger, he was relayed to have said, "I didn't do it, but I was being chased so I ran."

(Japanese original by Hironori Tsuchie, City News Department)

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