A University of Redlands student has been in jail for the past eight months in Japan after being arrested for allegedly breaking a lamp.
Julian Adame, who went to Japan after studying religion in Indonesia, failed to meet his friend, Kate Emmons, in Thailand.
Adame reportedly had a few beers and fell asleep at a bar on the night he was arrested on May 22, 2018, according to an official with the United States Department of State who spoke to ABC10.
Emmons became worried when he didn’t show up. She later found out that Adame had been jailed in Shibuya after calling and messaging several embassies in different countries, South China Morning Post reported.
“I had put out on Instagram a picture of Julian and asked if anyone had heard from him since I hadn’t heard from him in eight days,” she told KXTV. “One person reached out to me and said that he was in contact with Julian right before [he was] arrested. They were supposed to hang out the next day.”
“The next thing he knew he was being awoken (by) officers informing him he had broken a lamp that he owed $900 for it and that they needed to see his passport,” Emmons continued. “He had been abandoned by his companions.”
Adame reportedly felt distrustful of the police as his friends warned him that Japanese gangs would sometimes wear police uniforms to extort and/or kidnap travelers. Emmons said that her friend was convin ced that those who captured him were not cops but gang members.
After the arrest, he transferred into a community police box. In recorded footage, Adame can be heard saying, “You’re going to kill me.”
“And then he recalls them putting him in an unmarked car with officers not in uniform. And then drove him to his hostel to get his passport and it was there. They attempted to handcuff Julian and he was startled and turned around and accidentally scuffed the officer.”
The scuffle with the officer led to him being charged with “obstruction of the performance of official duties.”
Emmons finally tracked Adame down and was able to meet him in Japan. However, she was not allowed to talk to him as the two of them don’t speak Japanese.
Adame, who is now being held in a Tokyo jail, expressed how he wants to come home, but there are a lot of setbacks in his case.
“He recently switched from pleading not guilty to guilty, because he was told it would speed up the process but essentially there has been a series of setbacks so the prosec utor asked the video footage be translated not one but twice and that pushed the case back a month,” Emmons told the network.
The U.S. Department of State is reportedly trying to help Adame return home.
“The safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas is one of our highest priorities. We are providing all appropriate consular assistance to Mr. Adame,” an official told ABC10. “Consular officers are in contact with Mr. Adame’s family and friends, and visit him at the Tokyo Detention Center regularly.”
The University of Redlands, meanwhile, released a statement:
“We are aware that Julian Adame remains detained in Japan after events that occurred during personal travel, not associated with a university program. We have been in contact with local and international law enforcement agencies in Japan to ask for status, express our concern, and offer our assistance.”
Emmons started a GoFundMe to bring Adame home.
Featured Image via Instagram / _julianadame