Former Rikishi Takes Down Shoplifter

Sumo performer, Metcha, received merit after apprehending a shoplifter on a Tokyo shopping street Tuesday night. The 31 year old retired wrestler caught the perpetrator after hearing shouts of, “Stop! Catch him!” from a Musashikoyama shopping street vendor.

Photo by Bert Bräutigam (Google Maps)

Metcha, former Jonidan wrestler Aononami, was heading back from a visit to the public bathhouse when he noticed the situation. Sumo instinct kicked in when the shoplifter came running in his direction. With a left underhook, Metcha plowed him over. Yoritaoshi! Suspected of stealing from a video rental store, the young man was held there and was soon turned over to the police. Metcha was thanked by the store clerk and officers.

“I stopped him because I thought it would be trouble if I didn’t. He came at me at top speed, but I really wasn’t scared at all,” said Metcha, “It reminded me of a tachiai. I had to step forward into the hit to go for a grip with my arms,” he recounted, as if it were an actual sumo match.

Fellow sumo performer, Nishida Atsuhiro (@nishidaatsuhiro), who happened to be walking with Metcha at the time said, “Metcha went over and didn’t even flinch for a millisecond. He’s the real deal. I never thought the scene you see so often in drama’s would happen in front of me.”

Metcha (@mecchahosoda) entered sumo in 2004 through Ajigawa stable (currently Isegahama). His highest rank was Jonidan #94. Senior to Metcha at Ajigawa was former Sekiwake Aminishiki, now Ajigawa-oyakata.

Ajigawa commented on his stablemate’s act of service, “I think the hit without hesitation came from experience in practice. It was good he was able to stop the shoplifter. It was a dangerous situation, but as someone who I’ve practiced with, I’m proud of him.”

Source: Nikkan Sports

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