Police arrest bus hijacker in Miyazaki Prefecture

JIJI, Kyodo

Police arrested a 45-year-old unemployed man who had hijacked a local bus Monday after he allowed the driver to use a convenience store toilet in Ebino, Miyazaki Prefecture.

Seiichi Sato was arrested in the early Monday morning on charges of holding the driver and nine passengers captive after threatening them with a pair of scissors. No one was injured.

According to Miyazaki Prefectural Police, the bus, operated by a local firm, was bound for Kyushu Railway Co.’s Nishimiyakonojo Station from Miyazaki Station.

After hijacking the bus Sunday evening, Sato demanded to be driven to Ebino, forcing the to change routes.

The bus had been scheduled to enter the Miyakojo Interchange from the Miyazaki Expressway in the city of Miyazaki.

While on the expressway, Sato released two passengers at a bus stop and four more at a rest area, but took the 37-year-old driver and the three remaining passengers, aged 19 to 27, as hostages and demanded a meeting with his foster parents in the city.

After pulling off the Ebino exit, the bus pulled into a convenience store parking lot, where police, who had already received an emergency call from a passenger, nabbed him as he exited the vehicle with the driver, who had asked to use the toilet.

A clerk at the convenience store said that dozens of police officers had gathered at the scene and that everyone in the store had been asked to stay inside.

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