A man who was placed on a nationwide wanted list following an acid attack earlier in the week at a Tokyo subway station was arrested Saturday in Okinawa, investigative sources said.
Hirotaka Hanamori, 25, is suspected of throwing sulfuric acid at a 22-year-old man at Tokyo Metro Co.’s Shirokane Takanawa Station in the capital’s Minato Ward on Tuesday night.
The suspect is refusing to answer questions from police about the allegations, the sources said.
The man sustained serious injuries to his face and eyes, which will require roughly six months to heal, while a woman suffered burns on her legs, according to the police.
Hanamori, who is from the city of Shizuoka, allegedly threw the acid at the man as he overtook him on an escalator shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday.
The woman received burns after slipping on the liquid on the floor and falling into it, police have said.
Hanamori fled the station after the attack.
Hanamori and the victim had both been part of a film club when they were students at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, according to the police.
The victim said Hanamori was an older member of the club and did not recall any trouble between them. Hanamori currently attends a different university.
Security camera footage showed that a man resembling Hanamori came to Tokyo from Shizuoka on Tuesday and was found in the vicinity of the male victim’s workplace. After the incident, the suspect took a shinkansen from Shinagawa Station to return home the same day.
The police had been tracking the whereabouts of Hanamori as he was spotted on a security camera at Shizuoka Station on Wednesday afternoon.
He subsequently took a flight from Chubu airport near Nagoya to Naha Airport that evening. Upon arrival, he took a bus to a male friend’s home in Ginowan, according to investigative sources.
According to a female relative, Hanamori’s late parents worked in the medical field. Both died of illnesses in the last 10 years or so. Following their deaths, Hanamori, an only child, lived alone in Shizuoka.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.