Kumiko Shisa Ikehara couldn’t let him get away with it.

On December 21, 38-year-old apparel shop owner Kumiko Debana was riding the bus in Osaka, sitting in the back row with a friend. Next to them, a little further down the seat, was a man in his 70s, and sitting in the seat in front of the man was a woman.

During the ride, Debana noticed that the man had been touching the woman’s hair and resting his arm unnaturally on the back of her seat. When the woman got off the bus and another female passenger took the seat she’d vacated, the man started doing the same things all over again.

Debana was now certain that the man was doing this on purpose, and she decided to go on the offensive in putting a stop to it. Maybe that’s an aggressive strategy, but it’s not totally unexpected, since once upon a time Kumiko Debana was known as Kumiko Shisa Ikehara, world champion professional boxer.

▼ Kumiko Debana/Kumiko Shisa Ikehara

Also known as Kumiko Seeser Ikehara, the Osaka native made her professional fighting debut in 2012 and won the WBO mini flyweight championship two years later. She’d go on to successfully defend her title four times, and still held the belt when she retired from the sport in 2016.

“Because of my boxing experience, I have a habit of watching people’s movements, and I thought there was something strange going on,” Debana says. Realizing she’d need some sort of evidence, she pulled out her phone and filmed what the man was doing, then alerted the woman as to what the man was doing and encouraged her to move away from him, which she did.

▼ An except from Debana’s recording can be seen at the start of this video.

When the man exited the bus at Osaka Station, from where he could have hopped on any of nearly a dozen train lines to make an escape, Debana also got off and confronted him. “Hey, old guy, it ain’t right to touch people like that!” she told him, to which he replied “You got any proof? If so, show it!” So Debana calmly did just that, playing back the video she’d recorded on her phone and calling the police. An officer was dispatched to the scene, and the man agreed to submit to police questioning regarding the incident.

▼ Video of Debana (in the pink trunks) in her 2014 title match suggests the man got off easy by being on the receiving end of only her accusations, and not her fists.

On Tuesday, the Osaka Prefectural Police presented Debana with a certificate of commendation. “When I was a high school student, I was groped [by someone on public transportation], and I was so frightened that I couldn’t say anything,” she recalled. “It takes courage to speak up, or to press the button for a personal alarm [but]…this time I was able to find that courage,” and hopefully her actions and initiative will serve as a model for others as well.

Source: Sankei News via Yahoo! News Japan
Top image: Wikipedia/小倉商事
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