• Kyodo


A 25-year-old German man was arrested Thursday after escaping from the Miyagi Prefectural Police and being placed on a nationwide wanted list.

The police identified him as Petro Vladimirovic Shchus, a self-described student with no permanent address. He broke out of the Sendai Central Police Station in Aoba Ward on Wednesday, they said.

Shchus allegedly escaped from the interrogation room on the fourth floor of the police station at around 4:10 p.m. after loosening a rope that had bound him at the waist while one of the officers in charge of the case had left his seat.

He then allegedly “attacked” another officer attending the interrogation by pushing his arm away to get out of the room. A civilian interpreter was also present at the interrogation.

Shchus was not wearing handcuffs during the questioning. The door to the room had been left open.

It was unclear how he got from the fourth floor to the outside.

The police said he hitched a ride in a white car near the police station and fled to Tagajo, Miyagi Prefecture. The motorist who admitted giving him a lift said he let Shchus out near JR Tagajo Station. Shchus was also reportedly spotted in the neighboring city of Shiogama.

A truck driver said “a man resembling the suspect” knocked on the door of his vehicle at around 6 a.m. Thursday in Shichigahama, Miyagi Prefecture. The man was wearing a black blazer and black pants, according to the trucker.

Meanwhile, Shuji Oba, 60, who owns a glass shop near Tagajo Station, said he gave a long-sleeved shirt to a non-Japanese man who was hanging around his store.

Shchus was taken into custody for alleged assault on two male employees at a hotel in Sendai on the night of Oct. 30. Officers from the Sendai Central Police Station arrested him on suspicion of inflicting bodily injury by beating and kicking the hotel workers.

He reportedly entered Japan on Oct. 16.