In a small ceremony at the Ukyo Ward Precinct of the Kyoto Prefectural Police, Chief Suzuki presented 13-year-old junior high student, Ryoga Nomura, with a certificate of appreciation for his bravery during a train ride home. Nomura was recognized for almost single-handedly leading police to the arrest of a drunken adult male for inappropriately touching the woman next to him.
The story, according to Nomura, began at around 5 pm on 14 April. He was returning home from baseball practice on the Sanin Main Line rapid train from Kyoto to Nijo Station when he detected “booze stink.” Looking over at the seats across the aisle, he could see an intoxicated male in his sixties sitting next to a 29-year-old woman. The male was persistently touching the woman on her breasts and lower body. The male was sitting on the aisle seat resulting in the woman being pinned between him and the window. She sat silently pressed up against the glass while shaking her head “no” at him.
It wasn’t long before the young man spoke out very calmly and clearly telling the letch, “The lady doesn’t like that, so stop.” The male either too drunk to know better or playing it up so he could get away with it responded by saying things like, “Naw, she doesn’t hate it” and “I’m not a pervert.” Soon after the train arrived at Nijo Station, Nomura chose to remain on the train and play this scenario out. Unshaken, but now a little pissed off because he missed his stop, Nomura went into action. “Everyone around listen up, if this guy flips out just take him down,” said Nomura sternly yet calmly as he called out to the woman. He was then able to escort her over to where a group of high school girls were waiting, having heard the entire exchange. Rather than flipping out, the male pretended to sleep as if nothing had happened once the woman was out of the seat.
When the train arrived at Saga Arashiyama Station, Nomura immediately went to contact the conductor, who then called the police. Officers rushed to the scene and arrested the male for indecent assault. Nomura decided to call it a day and go home, but having ridden the train two stops past his destination he had to buy another ticket (Nomura went past the ticket gates with the police officers, making sure the perpetrator was apprehended). Seeing the hero try to pay extra for his train ride, the cops told him not to worry about it and decided to give him a commendation. During the presentation ceremony, Nomura said of his actions with a shy smile, “I’m glad, but I just did what’s normal to do in that situation.”
It seemed for a while that the only thing junior high students were into was flooding schools and murdering radishes, but Ryoga Nomura reminds us that there are still kids out there that epitomize class.
▼ Another fantastic reenactment by Tomo News and NMA