Kanagawa prefectural police said on Wednesday that it has activated 4,000 officers in search of Yuta Sugimoto, a 20-year-old kidnap and rape suspect who escaped from custody from the Yokohama District Public Prosecutors Office in Kawasaki on Tuesday afternoon. According to police, the suspect was arrested on charges of participating in abduction and gang rape.
Sugimoto escaped from the prosecutors’ office during his meeting with a lawyer. The suspect was not handcuffed but had a rope around his waist when he made his escape. Sugimoto had managed to unbind himself from the rope while the interview with his lawyer was happening. The suspect then asked to use the restroom on the 4th floor of the building, two floors down from where the interview was being conducted. In the few moments that he was not being watched by the officer in charge, Sugimoto slipped off the rope and escaped the building without his sandals. The officer guarding him tried to chase him but was not able to track him.
On Wednesday, the authorities revealed that the escapee’s clothes were discovered in the garden of a nearby house. Because of this, the prefectural police have also mobilized 900 vehicles and two helicopters to help in the search and arrest of the suspect, this according to reports from NHK. Sugimoto was arrested on Jan. 6, also robbing the rape victim of 150,000 yen (around US$1,430) in cash last week in Kawasaki City.
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