On 22 October, a young Twitter user with the handle Baku5538 happened to meet a German man out on the town by a stained glass window. The two chatted for around 30 minutes and went on with their business. Later on Baku posted the photo expecting his friends to be super jealous at his encounter with a foreigner.

However, a few weeks later on 13 November, Baku received a shock when a friend told him that a German guy who claimed to be a university student with the same name and looking just like the man he previously met was the subject of a city-wide manhunt after reportedly escaping from police custody facing charges of assault.

On Twitter

Needless to say, Baku’s Twitter account was flooded with messages joking about his acting as the German guy’s accomplice or asking what he was like, to which Baku replied they had had a very pleasant conversation and the man was interesting but something seemed strange about him.

While Baku was waiting for the police to question him for the involvement, Twitter users all over were growing nervous over this outlaw foreigner stalking the streets of their quiet Sendai area. Here are some tweets made by locals during the manhunt.

“Please arrest the German who escaped quickly… I don’t think he’ll come here but I’m worried.”

“Please catch the German. Please. I want to go out and buy oden in safety.”

“Eh, scary, scary, scary, scary, scary, German guy is scary, eh, scary.”

The Arrest and Escape

According to reports on Japanese news sites, on 31 October at around 7pm, Petro Volodymyrovych Schütz was arrested at a hotel in Aoba, Sendai for assault. Two weeks later on 13 November, during an interrogation, the 25-year-old Schütz allegedly got up and suddenly ran out of the room.

It would seem that the German national was neither handcuffed nor was the door to the interrogation room locked. However, according to reports on Twitter he was not wearing shoes when he fled. Still, he managed to run away from the two officers in the room with him, down four floors of the station and out to the street without anyone catching him.

He then reportedly flagged down a white car that was passing by outside Sendai Central Station and said to the driver (in English) “Friend, Tagajo Station please.” Thinking the man was just hitchhiking, the driver agreed and took him to the station.

On the run

According to FNN, around 5:30pm Schütz called out to someone in the station and asked in Japanese “Can you give me some clothes?” following which he received a long-sleeved light-blue T-shirt. He still had no shoes, though. He again decided to depend on the kindness of strangers and went to homes asking “Can you speak English?” and trying to beg for shoes by gesturing. Finally someone agreed and gave him a pair of slippers.

As of this writing, police are still looking for Schütz. He’s probably more conspicuous than most, however, and I think one Twitter user summed it up best saying that we hope he is apprehended soon so that we all may go out and get oden without fear… of anyone asking us for clothes.

Source: Naver Matome, Yahoo! Japan News, FNN (Japanese)

***NOTE: the suspect’s name was translated from Japanese phonetics to what we can best assume to be his name in the English alphabet, it’s possible there might be a slight variation. ***