Czech Police prevent prearranged street brawl from taking place
On Tuesday evening, police in the town of Most prevented street fighting between right-wing extremist ethnic Czechs and Romani people. Members of the two groups had allegedly agreed to meet up and settle their differences through violence. News server iDNES.cz reports that for the time being, police are ruling out racial motivation for the incident.
"We received the information that a conflict would take place between two groups. Members of the groups had recently agreed on a meeting," police spokesperson Ludmila Světláková said.
After 7 PM on Tuesday, 60 police officers, including regional riot police units, detectives, and an anti-conflict team deployed in the Most district. They stopped 18 cars on highway I/13 near Bílina in which Romani people were traveling to Most.
"We confiscated weapons such as baseball bats and pipes, and we detained one man who refused to show his identification and committed a rough assault on police officers," Světláková noted. The busy highway was closed for an hour because the Romani people who were stopped refused to leave. The road was freed up after police officers threatened to have vehicles towed. Most of the cars stopped eventually made it to Most, but police followed them the entire time. "[The Romani drivers] then went home," said Světláková.
While that was going on, police officers in Most were also monitoring the right-wing extremists. Ethnic Czechs gathered in the parking lot of a restaurant on Moskevská street. "We detained a man from that group for whom a statewide warrant had been issued," said Světláková.
Police monitored a total of 32 cars and 142 people and found 29 weapons. "The weapons included baseball bats, collapsible nightsticks, knives and blade weapons, tear gas, golf clubs, wooden shovel handles and hammers. Another 11 weapons that had been tossed onto the street near the vehicles were also discovered by officers," said Světláková.
Police are now determining why the two groups wanted to engage in the street fighting. "For the time being, nothing indicates that the planned clashes were racially motivated," the police spokesperson said.
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