U.S. airman held on Okinawa amid lockdown

/ Source: The Associated Press

Japanese police arrested an American airman in Okinawa on suspicion of trespassing, a U.S. military official said Monday, the latest in a series of incidents to sully the U.S. military's reputation on the southern island.

Okinawa police arrested the airman Sunday, U.S. Kadena Air Base spokeswoman Beth Gosselin said in an e-mailed statement.

Police believe the airman broke into the offices of a construction association in the city, said a local police official who identified himself only by the surname Shinya. The airman has admitted the allegations, he said.

Both Shinya and Gosselin refused to identify the airman, who has not been charged with any crime.

Kyodo News agency identified him as Wesley Taft, 21, citing unnamed police investigators.

Air Force authorities are cooperating with police investigators, Gosselin said.

The U.S. military imposed tight new restrictions on Japan-based troops, their families and civilian expatriates earlier this month after a Marine was accused of raping a 14-year-old girl in Okinawa. The restrictions are meant to limit them to bases, workplaces and off-base housing.

Taft told police he got out of Kadena's Camp Shields by jumping the fence, Kyodo reported.