Saitama – A man already in custody for an alleged assault was served a fresh arrest warrant Monday, making him the first cyclist to be charged for a road rage incident under a recently revised traffic law aimed at curbing dangerous driving.
Akihiko Narushima, 33, was arrested for alleged assault after an Oct. 5 incident in which he grabbed a man in his 70s by the collar when the man confronted him about his riding. The latest charge is related to a separate incident on the same day.
He had previously been witnessed cycling in an erratic manner and obstructing traffic in Saitama Prefecture’s Okegawa and Ageo areas, according to local police.
He was on probation at the time of the alleged assault after being convicted in February for another cycling incident last year.
The police allege that, in addition to the October assault, he also was involved in a road rage incident on the same day.
Authorities collected dashcam footage from cars in the area that enabled them to serve the fresh warrant Monday for allegedly riding dangerously in front of a car and obstructing its path.
The police said they plan to investigate his possible involvement in a few dozen similar incidents previously reported in the area.
Japan revised its road traffic laws in June to widen the scope of offenses considered to be dangerous driving, now including cycling. Such incidents can constitute a criminal offense under the updated law, a change brought after a string of high-profile car accident fatalities.
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