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Fukuoka rape suspect flees mental check, found on beach

Kyodo

Fukuoka Police on Monday morning captured a 32-year-old suspect in a rape and robbery, who several hours earlier managed to escape a hospital in Fukuoka, where he had been undergoing psychiatric assessment, authorities said.

Yasuyuki Okuma, a former restaurant worker from neighboring Saga Prefecture, reportedly fled through a broken window at Gannosu Hospital in the city of Fukuoka at around 2:20 a.m. Monday. Okuma had been held there for observation since early April.

Alerted by hospital staff, police launched a search of the area involving more than 200 officers.

Okuma was found delirious on a beach about a kilometer from the hospital at around 7 a.m. He was soon transported to another hospital in the area, where he was being treated for minor injuries.

Police believe Okuma had jumped off a 7-meter-tall bridge along the shore in an apparent suicide bid and quoted him as saying: “I wanted to die.”

According to an indictment, Okuma entered the home of a woman in the city of Saga on the night of Jan. 6, robbing her of ¥23,000 and raping her at knife-point.

He was arrested by Saga Police on Jan. 10 and was indicted on robbery and rape charges on Jan. 31.

The Saga District Court ordered Okuma to undergo a mental evaluation on April 3, after his defense attorney submitted a request for psychiatric assessment during pre-trial proceedings.

Okuma was supposed to be transferred to a correctional facility within the Saga Juvenile Prison on Monday.

His escape was reported to police by a nurse who heard the sound of breaking glass and rushed to check on the Okuma at around 2:20 a.m.

Police believe Okuma used parts of his hospital bed to break the window.

The incident occurred in a residential area near Gannosu Station on the JR Kyushu Kashii Line in the city of Fukuoka.