Japanese musician and songwriter Taiji Sawada, who was arrested Monday when he became unruly aboard an airplane, was taken to the hospital after he allegedly tried to commit suicide while inside his detention cell Thursday night.
Police Commissioner Ramon Mafnas confirmed yesterday that Sawada was transported to the Commonwealth Health Center and was placed under observation in the intensive care unit.
Mafnas said more details will be provided to the media after Sawada’s family is notified, through the Japan Consular Office, about the incident.
Saipan Tribune learned from sources at DPS that the 45-year-old Sawada was rushed to the hospital after he tried to hang himself using a bed sheet.
Because of the incident, Sawada failed to show up at his scheduled detention hearing yesterday morning at the U.S. District Court for the NMI.
Sawada is facing charges of interfering with the performance of a flight attendant. Sawada allegedly became unruly as the aircraft was descending in preparation for landing at the Saipan International airport on Monday. He allegedly punched the plane’s window, kicked the seat in front of him, and assaulted a flight attendant
U.S. District Court for the NMI judge William Hayes has appointed attorney Mark Hanson to represent Sawada.
FBI special agent Mary Goff stated in her report that Sawada was among the passengers of Delta Flight 298.
Sawada, who was in the business class cabin, had reportedly become angry with a female passenger and started punching the window and kicking the seat in front of him.
The report did not mention what caused his anger and whether Sawada and the passenger were related.
According to Wikipedia and a source from the Japanese media, Sawada is primarily known for his work with the once popular and now disbanded heavy metal band X. He played bass in that band on their first three albums. He is still performing with the bands Cloud Nine, Taiji with Heavens and TSP (Taiji & Shu Project).