Richards Bay police officers called to take a suspect of a brutal assault into custody instead removed the cuffs from the aggressive and seemingly intoxicated man and helped him to push-start his vehicle, enabling him to leave the crime scene and drive off with his alleged co-perpetrators, Zululand Observer reports.
The suspect positively identified as the manager of a well-known Richards Bay restaurant allegedly assaulted two men with a spade following a road rage incident on Monday afternoon.
But instead of arresting the man, who was still swearing and hurling racial abuse at bystanders, threatening CPF members and even a paramedic who wanted to attend to him, a police officer released him and allowed him to leave on foot.
Astonishingly, he then returned for his vehicle that the constable helped him push-start so he could leave the scene with his friends, two of whom were also implicated in the attack.
The victims of the road rage attack, Frans Swart and Marion Wehncke, both sustained multiple open wounds and are being treated at Ngwelezana Hospital.
Swart said he was on his way to pick up Wehncke to help him remove a load of garden refuse at a lodge in Meerensee on Monday afternoon when the incident occurred.
The occupants of the vehicle allegedly stopped and grabbed garden implements, including a spade, from the back of Swart’s vehicle as the main suspect accused them of swearing at him.
The two men were then repeatedly assaulted and their vehicle damaged.
David Pretorius of Northern Region Protection Services (NRPS) arrived at the scene and broke up the fight, but when he told the men to wait for the police they fled the scene.
Their vehicle was later seen at the Meerensee Post Office and the NRPS and members of the Meerensee CPF responded informing the driver and occupants they had to wait for the police to arrive.
When the suspect attempted to attack the men, he was subdued with pepper spray and handcuffed – until the police released him.
When the Zululand Observer who was on the scene asked the constable why he released a man suspected of an assault, he said he did it ‘on purpose’.
– Caxton News Service.