• Kyodo


Police chased a truck for nearly three hours into early Friday, leaving in their wake 20 smashed cars and three damaged buildings, after the driver left a restaurant without paying his bill.

Police said trucker Fukutomi Nagatomo, 45, from Tsuno, Miyazaki Prefecture, told them he did it because he was frustrated.

Police said the owner of the restaurant in Hita, Oita Prefecture, called the Hita Police Station at around 10:45 p.m. Thursday to say a customer had left without paying his bill.

When officers arrived on the scene, Nagatomo backed his 10-ton truck into the restaurant and then a supermarket next door, destroying their entrances and the restaurant’s kitchen, and sped away.

About 10 police cars chased the truck east along a national highway. Nagatomo’s truck hit about 20 vehicles on the road and he also smashed into a convenience store in the city of Yufu, police said.

The chase continued for 60 km, until police laid spikes across the road and blew out the tires on the truck in Beppu at around 2 a.m. Friday.

No one was injured in the incident.

Nagatomo had drunk a glass of beer and five glasses of “shochu” distilled spirits at the restaurant, police said. He was arrested for damaging the buildings he hit and will be questioned on traffic violations, Hita police said.

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