Police bust suspect in hit-and-run that injured Olympic hopeful
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Police bust suspect in hit-and-run that injured Olympic hopeful

Yaniv Fierovskin denies he hit Tigist Bito and Radait Baltat with his ATV on Friday night

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

Suspected Givat Brenner hit-and-run perpetrator, 23-year-old Yaniv Fierovskin. (photo credit: Facebook)
Suspected Givat Brenner hit-and-run perpetrator, 23-year-old Yaniv Fierovskin. (photo credit: Facebook)

Police on Tuesday night arrested the suspected perpetrator of last Friday night’s hit-and-run that moderately injured two aspiring Israeli teen athletes.

On Wednesday, Rehovot Magistrate’s Court remanded 23-year-old Yaniv Fierovskin in custody for an additional five days.

Police suspect that Fierovskin deliberately ran over 15-year-old Tigist Bito and 19-year-old Radait Baltat with his all-terrain vehicle while they were training with their cross-country team near Kibbutz Givat Brenner on Friday night.

During the hearing, Fierovskin denied the allegations against him. Police argued that he tied himself to the scene of the crime, and requested his detention. Investigators were not certain of his involvement, but said that he fit the profile of the suspect captured on police security cameras.

Police reportedly possess security video evidence showing an ATV driver fleeing the scene of the crime and running a red light, Channel 2 reported. The video also helped investigators identify the make and model of the suspect’s ATV.

Fierovskin was reportedly not cooperating with the police investigation.

Bito, one of the victim of the hit-and-run, on Tuesday was recovering and expected to be released from the hospital.

“I will get to the Olympics. You will all see. In four years I’ll be representing Israel in Rio,” Bito said Monday.

Her doctor said she suffered a broken leg and injuries to her face and body.

“I understood that my leg was injured and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to run. The moment the doctors told me that it will be okay and that in half a year I’ll return to running, I was very happy,” she said.

Bito said that she couldn’t understand how someone in an ATV could deliberately run over her and her friend. She said that the driver had attempted to murder them and she asked the Israel Police to do all in their power to catch the offender.

Bito competed in the World Schools Athletics Championships in Malta earlier this year and was a rising long-distance star for Israel’s squad for the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Israel placed 15th overall in the Malta cross country competition.

Greg Tepper contributed to this report. 

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