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Arson suspect attempts suicide while in jail cell

Date Posted: 2011-06-02

A man being held on suspicion of arson by Naha Police is unconscious and in critical condition in Nambu Hospital after trying to hang himself in a police detention facility bathroom.

Authorities say the man was discovered after he apparently tried to commit suicide in the bathroom by ripping a light fixture from the ceiling and used the electrical wiring to hang himself. He had been arrested a couple days earlier by Naha City Police and was being held on the second floor of the city’s police detention facility.

The suspect had originally been held in one cell in the general facility, but had been moved to a juvenile area because he was making a lot of noise. Police say, though, there’s no difference in the juvenile or adult facilities.

Police say surveillance systems in the jail were operational, and noted “we had a few surveillance people monitoring the premise. The system was fully operational and adequate.” They say they’re making structural modifications to prevent inmates from tampering with the electrical fixtures in the future.

Okinawa Prefectural Police have released a statement on the incident. It says “It is a pity this incident occurred. We will make an increased effort to prevent suicides by persons in custody so we never have a case like this in the future.”

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