Monday, November 08, 2010

Bad Enough When You Get A Home Invasion

Even worse when cops hold you down while your attacker stabs you to death

"The Akita lawyer killed in his own house Thursday was fatally stabbed after being overpowered by police officers who mistook him for the attacker, it has been learned.
Two Akita prefectural police officers believed Hirotaka Tsuya, 55, was the assailant because he had taken an object that looked like a handgun from the actual attacker, Katsuo Sugawara, a 66-year-old unemployed man, and was holding it when the officers arrived.
After the officers mistakenly subdued Tsuya, Sugawara stabbed him with a blade he had been concealing, sources said. A senior officer of the Akita prefectural police confirmed to The Yomiuri Shimbun that the officers mistook which man was the attacker.
According to the prefectural police, Sugawara broke into Tsuya's home around 4 a.m. Thursday. Sugawara apparently began fighting with Tsuya while holding the object the police thought looked like a handgun. The police officers, responding to an emergency call, arrived at the scene just after the lawyer took the object away from Sugawara.
The officers grabbed Tsuya from both sides to seize the object they thought was a gun. At that moment, Sugawara took out a 20-centimeter blade fashioned from a pair of shears and lunged toward one of the officers. The officer was able to avoid the attack, but Tsuya was stabbed. After being subdued, Sugawara was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, but was later charged with murder.
A judicial autopsy determined Tsuya died of loss of blood due to a stab wound to the heart.

Ken Kato, chief of a prefectural investigation division, told reporters, "At the time, [the two officers] couldn't determine which man was the attacker. Even though they weren't able to save the victim, they acted properly as police officers."


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