Police in Kuta yesterday apprehended a 23-year-old Australian man for alleged assault, following an incident that reportedly took place in front of a nightclub in the area.
“Yes we have apprehended the people involved because he committed assault,” I Putu Ika Prabawa, who heads Kuta Police’s crimes unit, told Merdeka.
The Australian, identified as Tore Gerard Vincenzo Bempasciuto by local news outlets, reportedly approached the victim, identified as taxi driver Saiful Nurokhim, out of nowhere and head-butted him, before snatching his mobile phone and running away.
Saiful then ran after him, only to have Bempasciuto hit the driver in the eyes and mouth, knocking him down on the sidewalk.
“Based on CCTV footage, it was seen that the perpetrator had a female friend who also hit the victim when he had fallen,” Prabawa explained, though the friend has yet to be identified.
Bempasciuto then smashed Saiful’s phone to the ground, and proceeded to hit Saiful’s friend, identified as Zainal, who was trying to help.
Police then arrived at the scene not long after, and were able to locate Bempasciuto and his friend hiding at a local minimart. Prabawa said the foreigner denied having assaulted Saiful.
Bempasciuto instead claimed that he had been followed when he was at the nightclub and realized he had lost his phone when he left. He was walking by where Saiful had been and thought that the victim looked like the man who was following him, which is presumably why he attacked Saiful.
Bempasciuto and his friend are reportedly detained at the Kuta Police, though both of them have yet to be charged.
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