Sat, Oct 28, 2006 - Page 4 News List

Japanese man rams car into children

AFP , TOKYO

A Japanese man yesterday rammed his car into a crowd of children on their way to school and then burst out swinging a hatchet, injuring two youngsters and an adult, police said.

Nanao Fujita, 64 and unemployed, was tackled down by passers-by and arrested, said police in Tochigi Prefecture, north of Tokyo.

Fujita allegedly swerved his car into a crowd of children, breaking the left leg of an eight-year-old boy and bruising the leg of a nine-year-old girl, a police official said.

He then got out of the car waving a hatchet and hit a 26-year-old office worker in the head with the weapon, slightly injuring him, he said.

"This office worker helped a 45-year-old man who happened to be at the scene in holding down the man as he raged about," the official said.

None of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening.

Fujita was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and violat-ion of the law against carrying weapons, the official said.

His motive was not immediately known.

Japan has one of the world's lowest crime rates, but has seen a string of attacks on children in recent years.

In one of the most notorious incidents, a former psychiatric patient went on a stabbing spree at an Osaka elementary school in 2001, killing eight children with a butcher's knife.

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