CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A Marine accused of throwing a glass and injuring an Okinawan bartender was released Tuesday but will likely face charges at a later date, police said.
Cpl. James Louis Mackey, assigned to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, is expected to be charged with inflicting bodily injury in Sunday’s incident at a Chatan bar, said an Okinawa prefectural police spokesman. The case has been referred to the Naha District Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The incident happened around 10 p.m. when Mackey threw a glass at the head of the 26-year-old male employee, police said. The bartender suffered minor bruises.
Mackey said he did not remember what he had done because he was too drunk, said police who declined to name the bar where the incident occurred.
Marine officials said they are cooperating fully with Okinawan police in the investigation.
“Our most valuable relationships are those with the local community,” Marine officials said in a statement. “The Marine Corps takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and expects our Marines and their families to adhere to the highest standards of behavior.”
The incident comes at a delicate time between the U.S. military, their Tokyo allies and the Okinawan people, who are becoming increasingly resentful over what they see as the disproportionate number of U.S. troops here, compared with the rest of Japan, and a sense of abandonment and betrayal by the central government even after it regained control of the island in 1972.
A recent rash of crimes, including the slaying of a 20-year-old woman linked to a U.S. civilian base worker, led to protest rallies that drew upwards of 75,000 people.
The rape of a Japanese woman by a Navy sailor and a wrong-way crash by another sailor that has been linked to DUI led to tightened alcohol and liberty restrictions for U.S. troops.