After a road rage clip depicting a feud between a foreigner and a Balinese priest (pemangku) in Ubud went viral over the weekend, police tracked down the latter’s house in Denpasar on Monday to get to the bottom of the problem.
Jro Mangku Budi Utama, 51, explained to the Gianyar Police that he was driving to Bangli to perform religious duties on Sunday, when he faced traffic congestion on the Ubud main road at around 3pm.
All of a sudden, a white car driven by a foreign male came from the West and hit the side mirror of another car behind Budi Utama’s car.
The foreigner stepped out of the car and approached Budi Utama’s car.
“I wanted to speak properly with him. He actually had a problem with the car behind me. I wanted to tell him this,” Budi Utama said in a clip sent to Coconuts Bali by the Bali Police after the questioning took place.
“But instead insulting words came out, like – I’m sorry [to quote him] – he said ‘shit you’. For me, it was rude. I’m sorry, I’m a priest but I’m also human. I cannot accept this insult.”
According to the police’s chronology of events, Budi Utama stepped out of his car to confront the foreigner. But the foreigner grabbed a shard of glass and raised his hands before pushing the priest.
Budi Utama took off his udeng (Balinese traditional headpiece) and glasses, put them in his car, before the two engaged in a street fight.
“Because of the incident, Jro Mangku (Budi Utama) received two punches in his jaw and the left side of his forehead. But there are no wounds – just pain on the left side of his forehead,” said Bali Police spokesman Stefanus Satake Bayu Setianto.
The foreigner also received blows to his face but his exact condition post-brawl is still unknown.
Stefanus said Budi Utama decided not to file an official complaint to the police after weighing on the matter with his family.
“But our investigators are still delving into the case to find out the identity of the foreigner,” said Stefanus.
It is still not clear what happened to the other car that the foreigner – believed to be Russian, according to the police – reportedly hit.
In the video, Budi Utama said that he will let the police do their job.