Israel: Parking Dispute Leads to Violence and an Arrest

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How does a dispute over a parking spot involving a lt.-colonel and his college student son find them, according to their version, victims of outrageous police brutality which leaves dad hospitalized?

This story takes place on erev shabbos, 8 Teves 5773 when Moshe Waldman, 64, a retired IDF lt.-colonel and his son Rotem, 24, approached an ATM at Herbert Samuel Street in Chadera to withdraw money. As they tried to park their vehicle close to the ATM a police officer of the rank of superintendent, who was seated alone in his patrol car, refused to move up his vehicle to permit them to park.

Rotem got out of their vehicle and shouted “Why don’t you permit us to park?” Rotem says the officer instructed him to stand on the side of the road and prepare his documents for inspection. The officer then moved the patrol car, parking along the side, and then approached Rotem and asked to see his identification.

Rotem refused, asking the officer “What did I do wrong? Why should I show you my papers? Did I break any law?” Rotem admits the officer once again asked to see his papers after which he pulled his hand and began leading him to the police car while threatening “I will bring you in”.

Rotem explains he felt as his hand was going to break or sustain a serious injury and tried to free it from the police officer’s grasp. In response, the officer brought him to the ground in a forceful move, resulting in a facial injury to Rotem including damage to his eyeglasses.

Moshe Waldman now approached the officer and asked him to leave his son. “Take it easy. Nothing happened” was the reported response. “Let’s stop here before things get too complicated”.

Moshe reports that at this point, the officer called for backup and three additional patrol cars arrived on the scene. Rotem was handcuffed and placed in a police car. Moshe, who has a heart condition and a pacemaker, became agitated. According to Moshe, when he questioned the officer as to his actions the officer turned and punched him in the chest. Moshe felt ill, began trembling and sweating profusely. Ignoring his condition, the backup units pushed him into a police care too and they were taken to the nearby stationhouse.

The two were questioned for four hours and told they would face charges of assaulting an officer and interfering with a policeman. Rotem adds that upon their arrival at the police station, the original officer with whom the incident began struck him again and pushed him up against a wall and threatened him while saying “I am the boss here. I will make sure you pay for what you did.”

Rotem tells that he pleased with police to remove his handcuffs, trying to explain to them that he did not feel well. They complied only four hours later at which time they offered him a cup of water and asked him if he wishes to be transported to a hospital.

Moshe tells reporters that he will do his utmost to ensure that policemen like this are neutralized so they cannot do this to others in the future.

The Waldman family attorney, Sharon Yauri was summoned and arranged for their release. They both sought medical attention. Moshe was admitted for irregularities in his heartbeat and various less serious injuries and pains.

Moshe told Walls News that his entire life he was a model citizen and did his best to contribute to society. He explained he plans to turn to the Justice Ministry’s police investigations unit and other relevant government agencies towards making sure those responsible for the outrageous miscarriage of justice are punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Police spokesman Erez Shaked responded. “The claims made by those involved do not jibe with the version told by police involved. The eyewitness statements support the version of police. The case against them will be forwarded to prosecutor with a recommendation for a criminal indictment.”

Attorney Yauri states “My client fell victim to violence and abuse by a police officer of the rank of superintendent, whose responsibility to uphold the law and set an example is greater than subordinates. However, because of his caprice he used unjustifiable force and acted brutally against my clients and abused his authority. The behavior of the officers was outrageous and an affront to law enforcement agencies. My clients were arrested without justification. They were beaten without cause and as a result, Moshe was hospitalized. They were handcuffed without reason for they were not violent or unruly. They did not lift a hand to anyone. They did not cause any damage. They did not try to flee. They were thrown into police cars without reason, without explanation. They were not informed of their rights. They were not told they may call their attorney for four hours.

“After my client recovers from this trauma we plan to file a formal complaint with the Justice Ministry police investigations unit for both the physical and mental injuries. My client will do everything in his power to make certain such an incident never occurs to others in the future. They are determined to bring the policemen involved to justice.”

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)