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Czech Republic: Conflict at housing estate, police officer hospitalized

Most, 20.3.2012 19:30, (ROMEA)

A police officer has been hospitalized after a conflict with two men at the Chanov housing estate, one of whom reportedly slashed him with a knife. Some Czech media outlets are reporting the officer was thrown from the second-floor window of one of the prefabricated buildings at the estate, but police have not yet confirmed that information.

Two male suspects have been detained, an adult and a juvenile. Ludmila Světláková, spokesperson for the Most Police, said officers have not yet been able to depose their colleague due to his injuries.

The incident occurred yesterday at around 20:00 CET. "The officer was looking for a wanted person. He was on the street in front of the building and had to call an ambulance. Doctors say his injuries are medium-serious," the police spokesperson told the Czech Press Agency. "He is an officer from the district department and he went alone to Železná street at around 19:15 CET. He called the ambulance himself. They found him on the street in front of the building and took him to the hospital."

However, Petr Bažo, who leads the local football club in Chanov, posted to a discussion of this incident on news server Romea.cz that an ambulance did not come for the officer. "Other police officers took him away themselves," Bažo wrote.

Contradictory information has been released about the officer's injuries. "He suffered severe injuries," the police operations officer reported yesterday evening, but the spokesperson for the Regional Health company, Jiří Vondra, called the injuries "light". In an interview for Czech Television yesterday evening, Vondra said: "The man is hospitalized in the surgery ward of Most Hospital. His injuries can be characterized as light. They are bruises and cuts. The man was first taken to intensive care, but more serious injury was ruled out and he was placed in the surgery ward."

Vondra repeated the hospital's stance that the injuries were not serious to the Czech Press Agency. "He suffered superficial cuts and bruises," the spokesperson told the Czech Press Agency, adding that the man is still hospitalized in the surgery ward.

Petr Bažo described the arrested suspects to news server iDNES.cz as follows: "One of them is around 15 years old and is a decent boy, he plays football in my club. The other is around 30 and I wouldn't go to bat for him because he is a drug addict. People here are saying one of the locals called the police to report that someone was hiding two children from the children's home in Block 1 and the officer went to check it out."

Block 1 is almost completely unoccupied. "There is only one family there. Otherwise the building is completely thrashed, there are no railings on the staircases, you can't see anything inside because the lights don't work. They don't work outside the building either. In my opinion it was a mistake for the officer to go there alone," Bažo told iDNES.cz.

For the time being it is not yet clear how the officer was injured. "We don't know whether he was thrown from the window, we don't know how he got his injuries, because we have not yet questioned the officer, his state of health has not permitted that yet. We are intensively investigating this case," Světláková told iDNES.cz.

However, that statement once again contravenes the hospital's claims. "His state of health has not changed since yesterday, but it should not prevent anyone from questioning him," Vondra told iDNES.cz after visiting the officer this morning.

Police intend to question the officer tomorrow. "We have a medical report describing his injuries as medium-serious and we cannot question him now," the police spokesperson told iDNES.cz.

The injured police officer has already communicated from the hospital that he does not want to speak with journalists until detectives question him. At noon today, police announced an information embargo on the case until tomorrow.

Officers did not want to comment on the ethnicity of the suspected assailant. Detectives will question both of the people detained and will continue to investigate the crime scene.

ČTK, Gwendolyn Albert, Zdeněk Ryšavý, ryz, Czech Press Agency, iDNES.cz, Czech Television, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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