National

Unlicensed teen biker, mistaken for fugitive, dies in crash after police chase in Osaka

Kyodo

A 17-year-old boy on a motorcycle crashed and died in the city of Osaka on Thursday night after being chased by police who were searching for a fugitive in a high-profile manhunt.

A patrol car began chasing the teen around 9:20 p.m. after police received a report of a sighting of a man resembling Junya Hida, 30, who escaped from a police station in mid-August following his arrest for a series of crimes including rape.

The high school student, who did not have a driver’s license, ignored a police officer’s order to stop. He took off on the bike, driving the wrong way down a one-way road before running a red light and then crashing into a roadside pole, according to local police.

Hida has been on a nationwide wanted list and thousands of officers have been mobilized to search for him.

Soon after Hida went missing from the police station in the suburbs of Osaka on Aug. 12, a black minibike was stolen near his parents’ home in the prefecture. Over the following three days, police received reports from four women who had had their bags snatched by a man on a black minibike.