Police: Drunk U.S. sailor arrested after breaking into elderly woman's property

Monday, January 21, 2013 - 11:47am

It was a game of ding-dong ditch he may well regret.

Police say they arrested a U.S. sailor who rang doorbells in a Japanese city in the middle of the night before breaking into a 72-year-old woman's property while drunk.

They identified the 20-year-old sailor as Manuel Silva and said officers arrested him early Monday on the elderly woman's property in the city of Yokosuka, south of Tokyo.

Silva's presence off base during nighttime hours would put him in breach of a curfew imposed by the U.S. military on its service members in Japan after two sailors were arrested on the island of Okinawa in October on accusations they raped a local woman.

That case outraged the Japanese public and left U.S. officials struggling to limit the damage.

Despite the curfew, several apparent transgressions by service members have come to light since.

In Monday's case, police say they received several late night emergency calls from the neighborhood where Silva was detained. The callers said somebody was ringing doorbells for no reason. Police say they found Silva on the elderly woman's property.

Silva, who serves on the U.S. aircraft carrier George Washington, is being held at a Yokosuka police station. He will be transferred to the local prosecutor's office Tuesday, police said.

U.S. military officials in Japan were not immediately available to comment on the matter.

In November, a U.S. airman was accused of breaking into a family's home on Okinawa and assaulting a teenage boy before jumping off a third-floor balcony.

The issue of violent crimes by U.S. troops in Japan has divided the two countries for decades.

It came to a peak in 1995 when a U.S. sailor and two U.S. Marines were convicted of raping a 12-year-old girl. Tens of thousands of Okinawans took to the streets at the time demanding that the United States leave the island.

CNN's Jethro Mullen in Hong Kong contributed to this report.



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