National / Crime & Legal

South Korean man on wanted list after fleeing from police hospital in Tokyo

Kyodo

A South Korean man in his 60s, who fled from a police hospital over the weekend, has been put on a nationwide wanted list on suspicion of theft and intrusion, police said.

The police identified him as Kim Won Gi, 64, who is on the wanted list for allegedly sneaking into a closed sushi restaurant and stealing ¥80,000 from the cash register last Tuesday.

Before he was apprehended, Kim fell on stairs as he tried to run away, breaking his collar bone and ribs, according to the police.

They opted not to keep him in detention due to his injuries and allowed him to be taken to the hospital as a suspect subject to interrogation on a voluntary basis.

He escaped from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Hospital in Nakano Ward on Sunday morning after telling a police officer that he had to go to the toilet, the police said.

Kim then took a bus to JR Nakano Station at around 6:53 a.m., about 10 minutes after he had vanished from the toilet, the police said, citing security camera footage.

They said that before Kim disappeared, he told the officer he had forgotten his note pad in a lounge about 6 or 7 meters from the toilet.

Kim managed to leave the hospital while the officer was looking for the note pad in the lounge, the police said, adding that they believe he had made up the story about the note pad.

They had planned to rearrest him Thursday when he was set to be discharged from the hospital.

The man was staying in a private room on the fifth floor of the hospital and two police officers had been posted outside his room.

Kim is about 180 centimeters tall and was wearing a white T-shirt, blue trousers and sandals when he left the hospital.

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