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Slovakia: Off-duty cop says he murdered to establish "order"

Hurbanovo, Komárno district, Slovakia, 24.6.2012 18:12, (ROMEA)

News server SME.sk reports that the recent murder rampage in Hurbanovo might have been caused when off-duty police officer Milan Juhász snapped as a result of professional frustration. Police are working with that version of events as one of several under investigation.

Police are working under the assumption that Juhász's motivation for murder was that he was unable to cope with trouble-making residents of the small town in his role as a municipal police officer and took the law into his own hands. "That is one motivation we are investigating," Slovak Police President Tibor Gašpar has confirmed.

One week ago, Juhász assaulted five people with an illegally held weapon, murdering three of them. A fourth victim is still fighting for his life after a gunshot to the lung, while a fifth victim survived and is out of danger. The deceased are 44-year-old Gabriel Lakatoš, his 19-year-old son Mário and his son-in-law Július (age 26).

The police version of the motivation has been supported by the only explanation provided by the murderer so far. "I woke up that morning with the feeling that I had to go put thngs in order with them," Juhász told a judge. A source familiar with the investigation has confirmed this to SME. Police intend to request a psychiatric evaluation of Juhász.

Numerous state police patrols will be overseeing order in the town for some time to come at least. Municipal officers will return to the streets after the victims' funerals.

Police have admitted that they have not succeeded in determining much more about the motivation for the murders, but do say there is no evidence to support speculations that Juhász was connected to the victims through business. The murderer's words indicate that he may have snapped due to long-term frustration.

"That was a problematic family. During less than one year we intervened there 13 times. They disturbed public order, burned their garbage, committed shoplifting and other misdemeanors," says Marián Botos, Chief of the Hurbanovo Municipal Police. Juházs assisted with most of those interventions.

SME.sk reports that the murder victims had been previously convicted of several felonies. In 2011 they were convicted of assaulting a public official, property damage, and making dangerous threats. Earlier this year they were convicted of robbery.

Court psychiatrist Svetozár Droby considers the police version of what motivated the incident as possible. "It accumulates over time and suddenly it's the last straw," he said of similar cases.

František Kostlán, Gwendolyn Albert, SME.sk, fk, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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