Czech Police arrest two Romani men for attack on police, confirm media exaggerated the incident
Police have charged two men in connection with an assault committed against a police patrol in the town of Krupka (Teplice district). Teplice Police spokesperson Daniel Vítek informed the media of the charges on 13 April.
The spokesperson stated that there was no evidence of anybody else besides the two people charged having been involved in the physical attack on the officers. The two-member patrol was assaulted during the investigation of a traffic accident.
A 54-year-old man is in custody and faces four years in prison if convicted, while a 17-year-old youth faces two years. The allegations published by some Czech media outlets that "30 Romani people" attacked the officers have not been confirmed and have been refuted by video footage of the incident that was posted to the Internet.
"By assessing the evidentiary material we have available and by interrogating eyewitnesses we have not confirmed the speculations published by some media that local residents thew rocks at the officers. The facts ascertained so far do not indicate that any other suspects were involved in the physical assault on the officers," Vítek said on 13 April.
Police have charged the older man with felony violence against an official and intimidation. "With the aim of influencing a public official he disrupted the investigation at the scene of a traffic accident in which a man crashed into two parked vehicles while under the influence of alcohol," the spokesperson said.
The 54-year-old was arrested on suspicion of having repeatedly failed to obey instructions to cease his behavior, after which he attacked the intervening officers and threatened not just them, but also their families. The juvenile against whom prosecution has been initiated for committing violence against a public official is suspected of having assaulted the policewoman from behind, causing her a head injury, and of fleeing the scene.
"After several hours he was arrested and subsequently charged, and after all the essential steps were taken he was released on his own recognizance, while the older accused was taken into custody today on the basis of a motion from the state prosecutor," the spokesperson said on 13 April. News server Romea.cz first reported on 12 April that other media were exaggerating the number of Romani people alleged to have attacked the police patrol.
News server iDNES.cz implied in its reporting that the patrol was assaulted by as many as 30 local Romani residents, and similar reports about the incident were published by Deník.cz and by the commercial Prima television station in its Crime News segment a week ago. Video footage posted online, however, shows just two Romani men committing the attack while the others at the scene do their best to aid the injured policewoman and call an ambulance.
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