Police officers charged for assaulting man at Lag B’Omer festival
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Police officers charged for assaulting man at Lag B’Omer festival

Yoav Pundaki and Guy Ohayon accused of badly beating plaintiff, cursing him and stomping on his kippa

Illustrative: A police officer confronts an ultra-Orthodox protester at a construction site in Meron, northern Israel, on August 16, 2017. (David Cohen/Flash90)
Illustrative: A police officer confronts an ultra-Orthodox protester at a construction site in Meron, northern Israel, on August 16, 2017. (David Cohen/Flash90)

Two officers in the Israel Police’s Special Patrol Unit were formally accused on Wednesday for beating a man after an event marking the Jewish holiday of Lag B’Omer in northern Israel.

According to the indictment, which was filed at the Rishon Lezion’s Magistrate’s Court, the plaintiff was trying to board a bus with his friends near Mount Meron the morning after the Lag B’Omer festival in May, but they were prevented from doing so by police officer Yoav Pundaki, who said the bus was too crowded.

After an argument broke about between them, Pundaki grabbed the plaintiff by his shirt collar and pulled him off the bus.

As he forcibly led him away, Pundaki swore at and kicked the plaintiff, whose skullcap fell onto the ground.

Despite the plaintiff’s request for help in picking up the kippa, Pundaki and fellow police Guy Ohayon allegedly refused to do so, instead stomping on the yarmulke and cursing the plaintiff.

“You fucker, you’re not deserving of this kippa,” the indictment quotes the officers as saying.

After having led the plaintiff away, Pundaki pushed down the plaintiff’s head and spread his legs apart, before proceeding to kick him in the testicles several times while continuing to curse him, the indictment said.

Ohayon then told Pundaki to be “be careful with his hands around the bus” due to the presence of security cameras, adding, “If you want to take care of someone you will only take care of him here,” the indictment said.

As Pundaki continued to hold and curse him, the plaintiff began to cry, but the officer did not let up.

Ohayon then turned to a friend of the plaintiff. “What should we do with this bitch? Should we arrest him or will you take responsibility for him?” according to the indictment.

The two officers then released the plaintiff, who was badly beaten and complained of feeling weakness.

Pundaki and Ohayon were charged with aggravated assault resulting in serious injury.

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