Police in Okinawa say they arrested a 22 year old serviceman with the U.S. Air Force after he was seen vandalizing a parked car. The police have not revealed the airman’s name, but say he is with the 18th Maintenance Group at the US Kadena Air Base. After his arrest early Sunday morning, the young man told the officers that he was too drunk to remember what he did.
A neighbor called the police after witnessing the airman strike a car in a parking lot with a piece of lumber for no apparent reason at around 5:30 AM. The police added that he was arrested on the spot when they arrived at the scene in Ginowan City, and that the suspect was visibly under the influence of alcohol. They are now looking into where the serviceman did his drinking and how much he drank.
The U.S. airman’s timing could hardly have been worse, as Friday, May 31st, saw the first partial lift in a strict ban on drinking off-base imposed on military personnel since last fall. For the first time since two U.S. sailors were arrested in October for raping a young Okinawan woman after a night of heavy drinking, service members now had permission to drink as much as two glasses of alcohol while off-base between 6:00 and 10:00 PM. The previous restrictions included a ban on all off-base drinking, the use of the buddy-system whenever leaving base, and the barring of leaving base between 11:00 PM and 5:00 AM.