Authorization

Man indicted on drug charges recaptured after 2 days on the run

Prosecutors on Monday caught a man indicted on drug charges who escaped while being transferred to police custody after his bail was revoked, two days after he fled in Osaka Prefecture.
Ryotaro Oue, who was indicted for using illegal stimulants and possessing marijuana, was apprehended by the Osaka District Public Prosecutors Office on a bridge over the Yodo River in Osaka city, where investigators found him walking alone around 2 p.m. on Monday.
Oue, who was identified as the suspect after being questioned, had removed the handcuffs attached to his right wrist at the time of escape and was wearing a hat, white face mask and sunglasses.
Authorities had been searching for Oue since his escape from a vehicle on Saturday, during which two male officials suffered minor injuries while trying to restrain the 42-year-old man.
Police also arrested Kosho Ogino, 37, a part-time painter and acquaintance who sheltered Oue, on suspicion of harboring a fugitive.
According to investigative sources, a man resembling Oue's description was spotted in a car on Sunday morning in Sumiyoshi Ward, Osaka, located a dozen or so kilometers from where he escaped, as he attempted to shake off his pursuers.
The same vehicle was also seen traveling along a number of expressways before being abandoned in a parking lot in the city's Kita Ward later that afternoon.
"I apologize for making residents in the area feel uneasy," Satoru Ueno, general affairs manager at the prosecutors' office in Osaka Prefecture, told reporters upon hearing news of Oue's capture.
Making reference to a similar incident on Oct 30, when a woman on trial for traffic law violations fled in her son's car after her bail was revoked at the Kishiwada branch of the Osaka District Court, he said, "we will carefully consider how we handle future (suspects in) custody and other issues."
Ueno refrained from commenting on the state of Oue at the time of capture and his escape route, claiming that it would interfere in affairs pertaining to his detention.
Oue escaped custody in Higashiosaka at around 4 a.m. Saturday, when an official from the prosecutors' office removed the suspect's left handcuff after he complained of it being too tight, the office said.
Oue, who had been sitting in the third row of seats, opened the door of the moving vehicle and jumped out as the female driver came to a stop. A scuffle continued outside the vehicle, but he managed to get away barefoot, with handcuffs still attached to his right wrist and a cord around his waist.
His bail was revoked last Thursday after he did not appear at three consecutive hearings.


© KYODO
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