OSAKA (Kyodo) A fresh arrest warrant was served to a 37-year-old man Saturday on suspicion he attacked a taxi driver in Matsubara, Osaka Prefecture, in January during a murder-robbery attempt, police officials said.

The man, Shotetsu An, allegedly slashed the neck of driver Toshiki Nozawa, 61, in the early hours of Jan. 5 and stole ¥25,000 from the taxi. Nozawa was seriously injured.

An was initially arrested over a March 27 convenience-store robbery and is standing trial. The new arrest warrant was issued after recent DNA tests revealed that Nozawa’s blood was on An’s sneakers during the convenience store robbery, the police said.

An has denied involvement in the Nozawa case.

“I was sleeping all day on that day. I’ve never been to Matsubara, either,” he was quoted as telling investigators.

The police also suspect An was involved the murder-robbery of another taxi driver in December in Higashiosaka, Osaka Prefecture, in which driver Toshiharu Goto, 67, was killed, sources said.

An was ¥2.8 million in debt to several consumer lenders and may have attacked the drivers to steal money, the sources said.

About eight years ago, An worked for a building-cleaning company in Matsubara, the sources said, adding that this experience probably expanded his geographical knowledge of the area.

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.