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Taxi Driver Robbed, Throat Cut Man Arrested

Date Posted: 2000-12-15

A taxi driver was found dead with his throat slit in a parking lot in Naha City, Saturday night. A passerby discovered the body and called the police. The driver was later identified as Shigemasa Tokashiki of Naha City. The police also concluded that he had been robbed, as no money was found in his possession and the taxi's money box was missing. The police immediately launched an investigation that soon produced a witness who said that he had seen a young male, clad in black, and carrying what appeared to be a guitar case, run away from the scene.

The taxi driver had also pushed his radio's emergency button, but when the operator at the taxi company tried to contact the driver, he did not answer. The police arrested Junichi Sato, 20, of Hokkaido next morning in his hotel room, on suspicion of committing the crime. He had tried to commit suicide by slashing his wrists.

According to the police, Sato owned up to the crime and said that he had decided to rob the taxi driver of his money, but denied having intended to kill the man. He said that he stabbed the driver by accident after grabbing him by neck and demanding money at knifepoint, as the driver struggled to free himself. He had then taken the taxi's money box and the driver's wallet containing just over 10,000 in cash, and run away. An autopsy revealed that the stab wound had cut a major artery, resulting in almost immediate death.

Sato told the police that he became scared when he saw the news of the killing on TV. He also saw several police patrols in the area. He then decided to kill himself in the morning. However, a hotel cleaning lady noticed his attempt and called the police.

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