A 42-year-old man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly punching a man, who later fell into a coma, at JR Nippori Station last year after they bumped into each other, police said.
The suspect was identified as Hisayoshi Shimota, a carpenter from Moriya, Ibaraki Prefecture. The victim, Katsuhiro Kobayashi, remains in a coma in a Tokyo hospital.
Police said Shimota has admitted to the allegations, quoting him as saying he punched Kobayashi in a fit of anger. He reportedly said Kobayashi did not apologize when their shoulders made contact and instead called him “stupid.”
According to police, Shimota punched Kobayashi in the face a little after 7 a.m. Nov. 9 on Nippori Station’s Platform No. 11. The altercation began when Kobayashi was getting off a Yamanote Line train.
Kobayashi suffered a fractured skull and a brain contusion after he collapsed on the platform.
Shimota was with another man at the time, and police had been conducting a search based on sketches drawn from witness accounts as well as some 300 reels of video footage of people at stations whose trains also stopped at Nippori. They came across Shimota when a man resembling the illustrations appeared in a video taken at JR Toride Station in Ibaraki Prefecture, investigators said.
At the time of the incident, Shimota was working on a building in Shibuya Ward. He changed his commuting route after the incident to avoid Nippori Station.
Kobayashi’s brother, Hiroshi, said that while he was relieved there has been an arrest in the case, his brother will never return to his former state.
“I wish I could take (the suspect) to his bedside and show him the gravity of his actions,” he said.
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