Shibuya restaurant gives jerk one chance to avoid trouble with the law, but some say they’re being too soft on him.


Ramen chain Shinbu Sakiya only has four branches in Japan, but one of those is located in Tokyo’s Shibuya district. Since the neighborhood has become the most popular place in the city for costumed partiers to gather on the weekend before Halloween, Shinbu Sakiya no doubt had plenty of customers last weekend, with hungry diners coming in for bowls of its signature miso ramen to power them through the all-night street celebration.

▼ Shinbu Sakiya’s miso ramen

But there’s also a downside to your restaurant being located at party central. In recent years, there’s been a steadily increasing, and extremely embarrassing, amount of trash left on the streets of Shibuya on the mornings after its Halloween parties, and early Sunday morning one overnight partier took things to straight-up vandalism, as seen in this security camera footage posted through Shinbu Sakiya’s official witter account.

Like a lot of casual restaurants in Japan, Shinbu Sakiya has a meal ticket vending machine located near the entrance from which customers buy vouchers which they hand to the staff when they take a seat inside. In the video, which was shot at about 4:30 a.m. on Sunday, a group of friends can be seen loitering near the machine, one of whom is holding a bottle of water in his left hand. He then gets the brilliant idea to pour the bottle’s contents into the machine’s bill slot, which his ski-capped friend finds hilarious.

The restaurant’s management didn’t find it quite so humorous, though, since the prank broke the machine, and when tweeting the video said “We have filed a criminal complaint with the police for property damage and obstruction of business.” However, the ramen restaurant also held out an olive branch, offering a way for the vandal to avoid getting in trouble with the law:

“If you know the people shown in the video, please tell them to come and apologize. If they do so, we will withdraw the criminal complaint! As long as they come before they arrested.”

However, many online commenters felt that the restaurant’s stern yet merciful demand was being too kind, with reactions including:

“You’re being too soft on them by offering to withdraw the criminal complaint.”

“Letting them off the hook isn’t going to make them better people, so you really should keep the criminal complaint in effect.”

“The police should make them face criminal charges regardless of what the restaurant says…If people like this aren’t made to bear some kind of punishment by society, this sort of stupidity will never end.”

“Jerks like this should be made to face punishment at least once. The repair costs and loss of business from this kind of vandalism can be a serious problem for a restaurant…I used to manage a ramen restaurant, and those meal ticket machines are incredibly expensive to fix.”

Nevertheless, Shinbu Sakiya stood by its word. On Monday morning, the man who poured the water into the machine did indeed come to the restaurant and apologize, as well as promise to compensate the restaurant for the damage to the machine, and so the restaurant has withdrawn the criminal complaint. They’re keeping the video up, however, which will hopefully act as a deterrent to anyone else thinking of playing a similar prank (Halloween night is still a few days away, after all), and also perhaps as collateral in case the vandal doesn’t make good on his promise to pay for the repairs.

Source: Twitter/@shinbusakiya via Jin
Featured image: Twitter/@shinbusakiya