• Kyodo


A man was arrested and another was being questioned Monday on suspicion of confining and attempting to assault a 20-year-old woman abducted from a street in Yokohama’s Totsuka Ward, police said.

Sadayuki Kondo, a 28-year-old newspaper deliveryman, was found at around 3 a.m. sitting in a station wagon in a parking lot and was taken into custody, police said.

The man being questioned, 24, was with Kondo at the time. Police did not disclose his name but said he was hit in the leg by one of four bullets fired by a police officer who was about to question the two over the abduction.

He was treated at a hospital, they said.

Kondo and his companion have confessed to randomly targeting the woman and forcing her into the wagon, police said.

The woman, a vocational school student, was reportedly kidnapped and driven away in a station wagon at around 1:10 a.m., prompting a witness to call police.

About an hour later, her screaming was heard coming from a parked station wagon. As a policeman approached, the vehicle sped away, leading the officer to fire four shots at its tires, police said. The vehicle got away.

The woman was released unhurt at around 2:40 a.m. in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, about 4.6 km from where she was snatched, police said. Takeo Kato, deputy chief of the Totsuka Police Station in Yokohama, said the police officer’s action was appropriate as it was aimed at rescuing the victim and arresting the culprits.

He said that the officer warned the men before shooting.

Kondo is employed by the Yomiuri Shimbun.

An official at the newspaper’s public relations department said the incident was “deeply regrettable.” The official, however, noted that the paper is not in a position to oversee delivery staff at the outlets because it has no direct employment contracts with such employees.

The official also said that the newspaper would urge its delivery outlets to supervise employees more closely.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.