The family that gets arrested together, stays together.

Father’s Day is just around the corner and it’s a time to reflect on how a lot of dads are out there doing their best to keep their kids on the straight and narrow throughout life. Things don’t always go according to plan, however.

One such case occurred late last year and led to the arrest of a father and son for the same crime. It all began when 29-year-old Tatsuya Tanaka was driving in Nerima, Tokyo, and collided with a 37-year-old man riding a motorcycle.

The victim suffered various injuries such as a broken toe and Tanaka fled the scene by getting into a car driven by his friend, 28-year-old Yuma Abe, who was driving behind him at the time of the accident. Tanaka may have fled because, according to the police, he was unlicensed at the time of the accident.

It would seem that shortly afterward, news of the accident reached Tanaka’s father, 50-year-old Toru Tanaka. Rather than allow his son to face punishment for his various offenses, Toru went to the accident scene about an hour after it happened and declared “I did it.”

This led to an investigation spanning several months, during which police determined that Toru did not in fact do it. On 13 June, Tokyo Metropolitan police arrested Tatsuya Tanaka, Toru Tanaka, and Yuma Abe for their respective involvement in breaking the motorcyclist’s toe.

▼ A news report showing each suspect’s perp walk. Playing the piano solo from “Layla” at the same time really helps set the mood.

Online reactions to how Toru dealt with the situation have been mixed, but a majority of the comments lean toward the opinion that he handled this all wrong.

“A parent’s love for their child is moving. They all go to jail together.”
“I get how the dad feels, but that’s the wrong thing to do. Parents are supposed to correct the bad behavior of their kids.”
“That’s so sweet.”
“That kid’s old enough to take the fall himself.”
“Instead of trying to take the fall, he should have scolded his idiot son and turned him in to the police.”
“If that guy has no license, he certainly has no insurance.”
“I feel bad for the father.”
“I feel bad for the mother who has to put up with these guys.”
“Leave the kind dad alone!”
“It’s a parent’s right and responsibility to protect their son.”
“The son should have manned up and stopped his father.”

“Too many parents confuse indulgence with affection.”
“A real father would drag his son to the police.”

As a father myself, it’s hard not to sympathize with and even respect that feeling to want to sacrifice yourself for the well-being of your child. Given the timing of the events, it would also seem that Toru acted largely on impulse without considering what was truly best for his son in the long run.

Probably any dad would agree that fatherhood is just a series of heroic moments and screw-ups. The best we can hope is that those moments aren’t quite as extreme as they were for Toru.

Source: TBS News Dig, NTV News, Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
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