A boy who grew bored of stoning a homeless man instead opted to scald him with boiling water as he slept, saying it was “fun” watching his reaction.
The victim of the attack was a visually and speech impaired 67-year-old homeless man, and apparently made the Chiyoda park his home, by some accounts helping to keep it clean.
The boy, a third year middle schooler from Chiba, had apparently taken up throwing stones at the homeless man a week before the attack – “It was fun watching his reaction… it soon escalated though.”
Escalate it did – his altercations with the man continued and he hatched the plan of using hot water on the man.
He filled a juice carton with boiling water provided at a nearby convenience store (for instant noodles and similar), and then went to the homeless man, who was sleeping on a bench in the park, and threw the boiling water on his upper body.
The attack left the homeless man with severe scalding on his neck and shoulders.
The boy was less than remorseful:
“I went too far. I should have just stuck to throwing rocks at him. I did it as it was fun watching his reaction.”
Police charged him with assault.
Reportedly the boy was accompanied by a gang of 7 classmates who looked on from a distance – they have not been charged.
Japan has few laws against vagrancy, and homeless and piles of their belongings can be seen (and often smelt) in most central Tokyo localities – in many cases rather than tackle the problem directly, authorities attempt to indirectly mitigate it by introducing “anti-homeless” street furniture, chiefly in the form of uncomfortable and oddly shaped public seating.
This can be seen in the photos above (note the armrest in the middle of the bench, to discourage people from lying on it) – it does not seem to have been very effective in dissuading the man in question from making the park his home, however.