National / Crime & Legal

Man indicted on drug charges escapes while being transferred to police custody in Osaka Prefecture

Kyodo

A man who had been indicted for using illegal stimulants and possessing marijuana escaped early Saturday in Osaka Prefecture while being transferred to police custody after his bail was revoked.

Ryotaro Oue fled from a vehicle in Higashiosaka at around 4 a.m. when an official from the Osaka District Public Prosecutor’s Office unlocked the suspect’s left handcuff after he complained it was too tight, the office said.

The 42-year-old, who had been sitting in the third row of seats in the passenger section of the vehicle, opened the door of the moving vehicle and escaped as the driver slowed down to stop.

The incident follows a similar episode on Oct. 30 when a woman on trial for traffic law violations fled in her son’s car after her bail was revoked at the Kishiwada branch of the Osaka District Court.

She was caught and returned to custody two days later.

Oue’s bail was revoked Thursday after he did not appear for three consecutive hearings. He made his escape Saturday despite there being two male officials with him in the back of the escort vehicle.

The prosecutor’s office called police immediately after his escape and contacted the city office at around 6 a.m. The city of Higashiosaka put out information around 7:30 a.m. asking residents to be on high alert for the 171-centimeter-tall fugitive, who has a slender build and a buzz cut.

Oue was wearing a navy shirt, camouflage print trousers and was barefoot when he escaped, the prosecutor’s office said. He also may still have handcuffs attached to his right wrist.

“It is a very regrettable (incident),” said Satoru Ueno, administrative manager at the office in Osaka Prefecture. “We want to bring him into custody as soon as possible and will do everything in our power to catch him.”

The Shinmachi district where Oue escaped is home to factories and is also close to Hanazono Rugby Stadium which hosted several games during the recent 2019 Rugby World Cup.

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