In the early hours of Saturday, a teenage boy was caught vandalizing the wall of an elementary school in Kerobokan. Tensions then arose between a group of locals who accosted the kid – later known to be from Russia – and several foreigners who tried to intervene.
The incident received widespread attention following a post by Balinese entrepreneur/social media activist Ni Luh Putu Ary Pertami Djelantik, more commonly known as Niluh Djelantik. She said she was on her way home from Nusa Dua when she caught the teenager spraying the school’s wall with green paint.
When Niluh and her entourage approached the kid, he reportedly tried to run away but was caught by a local man who was in the area. Several foreign nationals later arrived at the scene and demanded to know why people were surrounding the kid.
In a live video shot by Niluh’s team (clips of the livestream were later shared on social media accounts), an argument ensued between Niluh and the foreigners, with the former insisting that her group simply wanted to get to the bottom of the issue. The teenager’s parents were reportedly in Kintamani at the time.
North Kuta Police officers were called to the scene to mediate the two parties.
“We wanted to ask [the boy’s parents] about their son spraying graffiti. These […] people came and intervened,” Niluh told the authorities.
Following the mediation, the boy was reportedly escorted home by the police. Yesterday, Niluh led a mediation between the boy’s father and the school administrators, which ended peacefully. The boy and his father were later seen repainting the school’s wall.
Niluh, already known by the Balinese people for her no-nonsense attitude when calling out foreign nationals who are deemed disrespectful on the island, said that despite being a minor, the kid needed to face consequences for his behavior.
“Bali needs tourism [but] at the same time Bali has the right to preserve order based on norms, culture, and customs,” she said on her Instagram.
One particular person took things too far, however. During our review of the available footage, we saw one local man landing a sucker punch to the boy’s face as Niluh was shielding him during the heated argument. The unidentified local was immediately reprimanded by others at the location.
When asked for an official statement, North Kuta Police Chief Made Pramasetia told Coconuts that all parties involved in the conflict agreed to resolve their differences amicably.
“The parents apologized to the school and agreed to compensate the damages due to the vandalism by repainting [the wall] back to its former condition,” he said.
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