Latte triggers a series of events that results in attempted murder.

A 60-year-old man from Ota City in Gunma Prefecture was arrested by police for trying to kill a convenience store owner on the morning of 25 October.

According to the police report, the man paid for a black coffee at the store in Ota City, but when he went over to the coffee machine to pour the coffee for himself, as is the way when making this type of purchase at a convenience store, the owner found that the customer had pushed the “latte” button instead of the “black coffee” button, effectively pouring himself a more expensive cup of coffee than what he’d paid for.

When confronted by the owner, the customer said he needed to use the restroom, but instead tried to escape in his car, which was parked in the parking lot outside the store. The owner followed the man into the parking lot, where he clung onto the windscreen wipers of the vehicle in an attempt to stop the man from leaving.

The man, however, drove off with the owner still clinging to the windscreen wipers, dragging him down a road for several hundred metres until the owner fell away from the car. The owner hit his head hard during the fall and was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

▼ This news report shows the scene of the crime, and the road where the owner fell.

While the customer fled the scene in his vehicle, he was later arrested based on security camera footage. The suspect has been arrested on suspicion of theft and attempted murder, however, he denies the charges.

With the owner seriously injured and the customer facing serious charges, these are grave consequences for what essentially amounts to stealing less than a hundred yen. Commenters online agreed, saying:

“A criminal record for attempted murder over just 80 yen (US$0.54)? What was he thinking?”
“Unsupervised sales systems like these are likely to encourage crime.”
“Surely the customer would’ve been forgiven if it was just a one-time thing and he said it was a mistake.”
“I can’t help but wonder if the customer had been cheating the owner over coffee for a long time.”
“For the situation to escalate like this, there was probably a long history of it happening.”

While police haven’t released any further details regarding the case, it is possible that this may not have been a one-off incident. After all, it’s not the first time a customer has been arrested for pouring themselves a latte instead of a drip coffee at a convenience store.

Source: TBS News via Otakomu
Featured image: Pakutaso

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