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August 16, 2022



Czech Police say attack on Romani minor, hospitalized with bleeding of the brain, was a "misdemeanor"

Ostrava, 31.10.2012 1:46, (ROMEA)
A 14-year-old boy was assaulted in front of this building in Ostrava. (PHOTO:  Google Maps)
A 14-year-old boy was assaulted in front of this building in Ostrava. (PHOTO: Google Maps)

Ladislav N., a 14-year old Romani boy from Ostrava-Přívoz, was hospitalized recently with bleeding of the brain. His mother, Jana Fišerová, says he was assaulted and beaten. Police officers initially said that was the case, but then began to investigate the matter as a misdemeanor only.

When Ladislav went out on Sunday 21 October, he was standing together with friends his same age on Macharova street near a building where one girl in their group lives, according to Fišerová. Láďislav's friend Dušan had gotten a bicycle for his birthday, and at one moment he asked Ladislav to hold it for him.

A silver Ford van then drove up to the building. Three adult men and a young woman got out, and one of the men started yelling at Ladislav that the bicycle was his. Dušan responded that he had just received it as a birthday present.

"The men assaulted them, threatened them, spit on them, and then started beating and kicking them. Ladislav has never been struck by anyone in his life, so he was afraid and fled the scene. After a while he made it back home and planned to hide out in the hallway, but one of the men caught up with him. He grabbed Ladislav by his hood, strangled him, and started to beat his head against the tiled wainscoting of the wall. Ladislav lost consciousness, but before he did, the young woman who had been with the attackers ran up and kicked him in the genitals. It was she who got scared when he stopped moving, and she called an ambulance. A witness said she told the ambulance Ladislav had injured himself falling from a bicycle," Fišerová told news server, adding, "We knew nothing about it until Ladislav's friends came to tell us what happened. By the time we made it to Macharova street, Ladislav was already hospitalized at Na Fifejdy.“

After returning from the hospital, Fišerová and her father-in-law went to the police: "A police officer told us they had already caught one of the perpetrators and that we should come back in the morning. When we went there the next morning, a different police officer said to us: 'Where did you learn it was an assault? Your son fell off of a bicycle, so why are you here?' " Fišerová says officers are not paying attention to the case as they should.

Petr Svoboda, a spokesperson for the Ostrava Police, told news server that police are addressing the case as a misdemeanor and as bicycle theft. The man who Ms Fišerová says beat Ladislav up reportedly got on the bicycle afterward and rode off. "The assault on the boy is being dealt with by police as a misdemeanor against civil coexistence," Svoboda told news server

"The police are concerned about the bicycle, not about my son. Even if, God forbid, he were dead they'd be investigating the bicycle! The head physician clearly wrote in the medical report that this was a physical assault. Moreover, according to the witnesses with whom I have spoken, the attackers put the bicycle in their car, no one rode off on it. One Romani man started writing down the license number of their Ford and they beat him up for doing that. When the police arrived, the perpetrators wanted to drive off, but the children blocked their way, Ladislav's friends, and they wouldn't go so far as to run them down with the car. Not a one of those incidents looked like a mere misdemeanor," said Ladislav's mother.

Ms Fišerová also does not believe the case was just about a bicycle: "It looks to me like they assaulted the children for being Romani. They wouldn't go on the rampage like that over a bicycle."

Ladislav was brought to the hospital on that fateful Sunday at 21:33 CET. According to Ms Fišerová, he now must be operated on. The blood has coagulated in his head and Ladislav is in enormous pain.

"He has 15 stitches on his head and seven on his lip. He has something more serious going on with his kidneys, they've inserted a catheter. In the hospital they said the blows to his head were caused by something rather sharp. The wainscoting against which the attacker beat his head is tiled, so it has a rather sharp edge," Fišerová said. will continue to follow the development of this case, primarily the actions taken by police. We are currently trying to determine what the alleged assailants and other witnesses at the scene have to say about the incident.

František Kostlán, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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