Four escaped Bali police prisoners take bullets to the leg

The West Denpasar Police holding facility where the five men escaped by busting through the roof from the bathroom ceiling.

Four escaped police detainees in Bali were met with hot lead to the legs when trying to evade arrest, police told reporters, as they paraded the recently recaptured men with their bandaged legs at a press conference on Wednesday.

Police says the were “forced” to shoot the four men, identified as Muhammad Rifai, 20, Muhammad Zubair, 35, Wilson Kennedi, 22, and Muhammad Alfah, 24, to keep them from getting away.

The four had previously busted through the ceiling of a bathroom at West Denpasar Police’s holding facility on June 4.

They had been joined by Muhammad Panzuri Akbar, 22, in their escape to freedom, but Akbar was shortly recaptured the next day and went cooperatively, so he did not get shot in the leg.

It’s common practice in Bali for police to shoot suspects in the leg if they try to flee and resist arrest.

Rifai, who police have identified as the leader of the escape operation, had apparently wanted to run away to meet his wife in Bandung, West Java, in time for her labor.

“Rifai was the leader of the prisoners (whereas) Zubair was the coordinator,” Denpasar Police Chief Comr. Hadi Purnomo said on Wednesday, as quoted by Bali Post.

After fleeing the holding cell, Zubair, Wilson, and Alfah ended up at the Ubung Bus Termianl in Denpasar, where they caught a bus to Gilimanuk, West Bali. From there they crossed over via ferry to Ketapang, East Java and made their way to Surabaya. Zubair had intended to make it to Jakarta.

The three suspects were arrested in Surabaya.

As for Rifai, he traveled the same route to Surabaya then continued on to Bandung.

“We knew that the perpetrator had family in Kupang, NTT and Bandung. We divided into two teams, some searching Kupang and some in Bandung. Finally, our officers found the perpetrator was located at Jl. Si Biru, Bandung. The perpetrator was arrested at his wife’s house on June 11, 2018 at 1:30am,” Purnomo said.

Indonesian media previously reported that Rifai had been in police custody for involvement in a theft case; Zubair for involvement in an IDR250 million (US$18k) fraud case; and Alfah and Kennedi had been snagged in an armed burglary plot.

This is far from the first time prisoners have escaped in Bali. It’s not even the first time people have broken out through the bathroom to get out of custody.

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