Entries in Assault (3)


Two Sailors Arrested for Alleged Rape in Okinawa

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(OKINAWA, Japan) -- Two U.S. Navy sailors have been arrested in Okinawa for the alleged rape of a local woman.  The arrests come at a  rocky time for the U.S. military presence on Okinawa, which is home to half of the 50,000 American military forces based in Japan.

Seaman Christopher Browning and Petty Officer 3rd Class Skyler Dozierwalker were arrested early Wednesday by Okinawan authorities after a local woman alleged that she had been sexually assaulted and robbed in front of her apartment building.

A Navy official says that at approximately 4 a.m. Tuesday a group of sailors allegedly followed a 27-year-old woman to her residence.

Three sailors were picked up at 6 a.m. after she made a report to Okinawan authorities, but only Browning and Dozierwalker remain in custody.

The Japanese Foreign Ministry lodged a formal protest over the incident with the U.S. embassy in Japan.  Speaking to how seriously the incident is being taken by American diplomats in Japan, the embassy released a statement from U.S. Ambassador John Roos, saying the U.S. government is “extremely concerned” by the allegations.

“We are committed to cooperating fully with the Japanese authorities in their investigation,” he continued. "I am also in close contact with the Commander, U.S. Forces Japan.  These allegations, given their seriousness, will continue to command my full personal attention.”

The Okinawa governor, Hirokazu Nakaima, is expected to fly to Tokyo to lodge a formal complaint with the U.S. embassy in person.

For decades there has been significant local opposition to the continued  presence of large American military bases on the island, particularly the Marine base in Futenma.  The most recent flare-up involved the Marine deployment to the island of tilt rotor Osprey aircraft.  Local government officials said the aircraft posed a safety risk following two recent Osprey crashes that recalled the aircraft’s shaky safety record very early in its development.

There were massive protests on the island in 1995 following the rape of a 12-year-old schoolgirl by three U.S. Marines.

Per the Status of Forces Agreement between the U.S. and Japan, Japanese authorities are holding the sailors and have primary jurisdiction because it involved a Japanese national.  The Navy’s Criminal  Investigative Service is also conducting its own investigation and providing support to Okinawan authorities.

The Navy official says the sailors are based at Fort Worth Naval Air Base in Texas and were temporarily deployed to Japan as part of the crew of a Navy cargo plane.

The plane’s crew had flown a mission from Atsugi in Japan to Okinawa, but was required to stay the night on the island because of crew rest requirements.

The alleged incident is said to have occurred during their stay.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Afghan Militants Assault American Base in Unprecedented Attack

ABC News(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Militants assaulted the gate of an American base in eastern Afghanistan Saturday, striking before dawn with rocket-propelled grenades and a vehicle packed with explosives.

United States officials confirmed the attack, calling it an extremely rare frontal assault in perhaps the single safest province in Afghanistan.

ABC News' foreign correspondent Nick Schifrin reports that the attack was so rare that he couldn’t “find a single record of the base ever being attacked.”

The base is filled with U.S .civilians and service members, but no injuries were reported, according to ISAF.

Panjshir is the one place the Taliban never controlled during their government in the late 1990s. Earlier this year, an Afghan intelligence officer in Panjshir opened fire on one a convoy of American vehicles that had left the base, killing one U.S. civilian and one U.S .service member. That was the only major, recent incident that occurred in the area.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


French President Assaulted During Visit with Voters

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images(BRAX, France) -- Somebody got his hands on French President Nicolas Sarkozy Thursday and nearly pulled him to the ground.

It was the first time that Sarkozy has been confronted with a physical assault since becoming France's leader in 2007.  It happened during a visit to the southwestern France town of Brax.

Facing a tough reelection campaign next year, Sarkozy is trying to make himself more accessible to voters but while greeting people Thursday, a man yanked at the president's suit collar so hard that it pushed Sarkozy against a metal barricade that wound up breaking his fall.

As bodyguards surrounded the shaken president, police grabbed 32-year-old Hermann Fuster, who later told investigators he wanted to question Sarkozy about the French military involvement in Libya.

After the incident, Sarkozy said he had no plans to press charges against Fuster.

The fact that someone could have easily harmed the French president will likely mean stepped-up security as the election season begins in earnest, especially since Sarkozy's approval ratings are the lowest they've been during his presidency.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio