Czech Police arrest man for firing gas pistol while shouting about "Gypsies"
News servers Aktu.cz and Blesk.cz report that at around 20:00 on 24 August there was a shooting incident at a residential hotel in the Radotín quarter of Prague. Eyewitnesses say a drunken man shouted "Gypsies, I'll shoot you all here!" before firing a gas pistol at people inside the building - without, however, actually physically harming them.
After the incident the shooter fled the building and hid outdoors, but police apprehended him after after several minutes. A helicopter was called to aid the search.
"I was lying down and suddenly heard shots and ascertained that some guy was firing a weapon there. I went outside, followed him, and for a moment I provoked a conflict with him and delayed him so the police officers could then apprehend him. When they arrived, I showed them where he was and they ran over there," one eyewitness described the situation on camera to news server Aktu.cz.
Police immediately began their search for the assailant after arriving on the scene. They soon found the shooter in a drainage pipe near an adjacent railway line.
Because the man resisted arrest the officers had to use force to detain him. The aggressor still had his weapon on him.
Detectives have ascertained that the weapon fired was a gas pistol. The attacker, according to the police, was given a breath test to measure his blood alcohol level.
"Since this locality is spread out over a large area, the commanding officer sent reinforcements from the emergency motorized units and riot units and the area was even monitored by helicopter during the manhunt. Thanks to these measures we succeeded in finding the 43-year-old suspect and arrested him after a relatively brief time. He was hiding from police in a drain near the rail line," the police report about the incident says.
Eyewitnesses say during the spree the shooter took aim at all the people he encountered, threatening to shoot a mother and her children as well. Police spokesperson Tomáš Hulan chose a somewhat unusual way to describe the incident, saying: "In this respect it is necessary mention that even if the 43-year-old had a reason for acting like this, he is not entitled to resolve any situation this way."
The man is suspected of felony rioting and reckless endangerment. If convicted he faces up to two years in prison.
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