Underwear prison break man captured
Published 13/01/2012 | 09:57
Japanese police have captured a Chinese convict who bolted from a Hiroshima jail clad only in his underwear in the country's first prison break in more than two decades.
Police found Li Guolin, who was serving a 23-year sentence for attempted murder, near an primary school in the southern Japanese city on Friday. Officials said it was the first prison break from a Japanese jail since 1989.
Japan's public broadcaster NHK broke into programming to show police taking him into custody. He wore a heavy jacket and ski cap pulled down over his face, and NHK reported he had a knife when he was arrested.
Li is suspected of breaking into a nearby apartment to steal clothes after he jumped the prison walls on Wednesday. According to the Japanese media, he also stole a beer while he was there - police reportedly found his DNA on a can he left behind.
Hiroshima police confirmed his arrest, but had no further comment.
The government's top spokesman apologised for the escape and vowed tougher measures to keep inmates from breaking out. Li managed to climb over a wall inside the prison campus and then use scaffolding to get over the 16-foot outer wall, which was under construction for repairs. Sensors on the wall were turned off because of the repair work.
"We apologise for causing serious safety concerns to the neighbours," chief cabinet secretary Osamu Fujimura said. "We'll make sure that prisons and related institutions take steps so that they will never repeat the same mistake."
Li, believed to be the leader of a gang of burglars, was convicted in 2005 for shooting at a police officer and stealing a squad car.