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January 27, 2022



The final hours of life of the young Romani man who died at a Czech pizzeria

22.10.2016 8:14
A memorial event was held in Žatec, Czech Republic on 20 October 2016 for a young Romani man who died on 18 October under circumstances that have yet to be clarified. (PHOTO:
A memorial event was held in Žatec, Czech Republic on 20 October 2016 for a young Romani man who died on 18 October under circumstances that have yet to be clarified. (PHOTO:

On Tuesday, 18 October just after 19:00, a conflict happened at a pizzeria in the Czech town of Žatec between customers and a young Romani man who died after a scuffle and intervention by police. News server has now mapped the final hours of life of 27-year-old M.D.

On Monday evening or Monday night into the early morning hours of Tuesday, M.D. is said to have been at a residential hotel in Louny. Allegedly he was involved in a conflict there.

The young man is said to have arrived at the facility, apparently under the influence of drugs, as a consequence of which he mistook which floor he was on and entered somebody else's unit. Police were called and transported him to a preliminary detention cell, from which he was taken by ambulance on Tuesday to the hospital in Žatec after complaining of pain in his belly and lower back.

In the records of the hospital that news server has accessed, the medical recommendation was that M.D. be hospitalized in the psychiatric ward. That recommendation was made on Tuesday, 18 October, after 15:00.

M.D.'s father has told news server that he and his wife spoke by telephone with the hospital staff and agreed with them that they would come pick up their son when he was released. That never happened because the man was released from the hospital before his parents managed to get there.

According to several eyewitnesses who were also at the hospital at the time, the hospital employees threw M.D. out of the facility, despite the apparent agreement that he would be released to his parents, because they "didn't want a drug addict getting in their way", as one eyewitness said. Another eyewitness said M.D. was vulgar toward the hospital employees.

After being ejected from the hospital, M.D. apparently did his best to get back home to Louny. One witness told news server that M.D. attempted to contact a friend that afternoon so she could call his parents to come for him.

CCTV footage that news server has accessed from Tuesday evening shows M.D. attempting to get on a bus parked near the bus station restaurant and the bus driver ejecting him. In the footage, the young man seems confused, is not behaving aggressively at that time, flees the driver who ejects him, and attempts to board a different bus, unsuccessfully.

Prior to 19:00 M.D.then entered the restaurant located at the bus station. An employee there has told news server that he just threw the young man out, which ended their interaction.

That employee claims he was able to see a local police vehicle parked in front of the restaurant and that the young man attempted, on his own, to get into the car before lying down on its hood. The local patrolmen, however, are said to have left him at the bus station and driven their vehicle away.

The pizzeria where M.D. eventually died is located just a couple of steps away from the bus station, across the street. According to the management of the pizzeria, the man came to their business twice on Tuesday.

The first time, M.D. ordered a non-alcoholic beverage and wanted to borrow a phone to call his relatives. Once again, he apparently wanted his family to come for him.

M.D. then left the restaurant, allegedly without paying. He returned to the pizzeria later on.

Various different eyewitnesses with whom news server has spoken claim that during M.D.'s second visit to the pizzeria they did not see him pawing at any women there, as others have asserted, but that he did run over to some women, asked for a light for a cigarette, and allegedly nudged one of them. The management of the pizzeria alleges that he assaulted the women, allegedly began to choke one of them, and allegedly pulled the hair of one of them, according to the pizzeria staff.

Subsequently, somebody who has been described either as a customer or as a food server is said to have attacked the Romani man, kicking him in the chest, according to some eyewitnesses, or in the neck, according to others, and then four other customers assaulted him as well. In a press release, the management of the pizzeria has stated that customers just detained the man and waited for local and state police officers to arrive.

Local police arrived moments later and are said to have pushed M.D. to the ground, handcuffed him, and held him down while, according to eyewitnesses, customers or staff continued to beat him. After roughly another 10 minutes of moaning in a kneeling position, M.D. collapsed and the officers present began their attempts to revive him, which were unsuccessful, and then emergency medical technicians intervened using a defibrillator, also unsuccessfully, and the 27-year-old was pronounced dead.


Jitka Votavová, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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