WAKAYAMA – Wakayama Prefectural Police will file criminal charges against some of its own officers over the death of a 52-year-old detainee who suffocated after being gagged, according to investigative sources.
The man, under arrest for allegedly attempting to torch a pub in the city of Wakayama, died April 21 after officers put a rubber gag over his mouth the day before because other detainees were complaining he was shouting, the police said. His hands and feet were also bound.
Officers monitored the man but found him unconscious when they removed the gag after he stopped snoring. They immediately took him to a hospital but he later died there.
Coroners at a prosecutors’ office determined that the detainee had died of suffocation after he was gagged.
The police will turn over documents on the officers at the Wakayama East Police Station to prosecutors as early next month after questioning them, the sources said.