In Osaka, Japan, Manabu Mizuta, 35, repeatedly released hundreds of beetle larvae near woman on trains to scare them. He stated “I wanted to see women get scared and shake their legs.” It makes for an interesting case of the definition of assault.
Mizuta was arrested with 10 containers in his backpack estimated to contain a total of 3600 worms. They had been on the look out for him after prior episodes.
The case is striking as a question of how far the definition of assault can be pushed. Obviously, there are other crimes that cover the release of insects on a train, but assault as a crime is generally defined in the United States as “an attempt to inflict physical harm on another individual, whether successful or not, of which the intended victim is aware.” As a civil matter, it is defined as “ntentionally and voluntarily causing the reasonable apprehension of an immediate harmful or offensive contact.” The civil standard seems satisfied with dumping worms near a person. The criminal standard would require a little bit of a stretch, but would be arguably compatible with this situation.
For the full story, click here.