Cop arrested after patrol car fatally hits man on Sapporo road

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The Hokkaido Prefectural Police Headquarters can be seen in this file photo. (Mainichi/Taichi Kaizuka)

SAPPORO — A police car traveling to the scene of a noise complaint fatally hit a man here on May 1, and the officer driving it was arrested at the scene, Hokkaido Prefectural Police said the following day.

Police arrested Noriyuki Kodate, a 61-year-old assistant inspector at the community division of Shiroishi police station in the Sapporo area, on suspicion of causing death while driving a vehicle after hitting a man while he was driving a police car on a municipal road in the Shiroishi district of Sapporo at around 8:15 p.m. on May 1. The site is a straight road with two lanes in each direction and no traffic lights. The officer reportedly admitted to the allegations and said, “I wasn’t looking ahead.” The victim was reportedly bent over the road before being hit and police are trying to identify the body.

Kodate and another officer in his twenties were in the car, heading to the scene of a noise complaint. The police vehicle had its emergency red lights flashing but the siren was not on.

Masashi Kyuma, the head of the prefectural police inspection bureau, commented, “We would like to extend our deepest condolences to the victim. We will respond strictly based on the results of the investigation.

(Japanese original by Kohei Shinkai, Hokkaido News Department)

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