89 y.o. Jakarta man accused of car theft by motorcyclists beaten to death despite driving own vehicle

Octogenarian beaten to death by mob of motorcyclists in Jakarta. Photo: Handout
Octogenarian beaten to death by mob of motorcyclists in Jakarta. Photo: Handout

Jakarta saw a horrifying incident of extreme road lawlessness that led to the death of an 89-year-old man on Sunday.

A widely circulating video shows at least a dozen youths on motorcycles chasing a Toyota Rush driven by the octogenarian victim in East Jakarta at around 2am on Sunday. The motorcyclists repeatedly screamed, “thief!” towards the victim, implying that he had stolen the car.

A police car is also seen chasing the Rush, and fired a warning shot at one point in the video. When the mob eventually stopped the car in Cakung district, the video cuts just as the victim was being forced out of the vehicle.

Police said that as soon as the victim was forced out, he was beaten senseless by the mob of motorcyclists. Two officers in the police car were overpowered by the mob and unable to stop the assault.

The victim was killed during the assault, and the motorcyclists fled the scene.

Police confirmed that the victim owned the Rush, and therefore ruled out vehicle theft as the trigger for the chase.

“[The victim’s car likely] scraped a motorcycle. According to a witness, the scrape happened in Pulogadung, and then somebody screamed ‘thief’ toward the victim,” East Jakarta Police Crime Investigation Unit Head Ahsanul Muqaffi said today.

Police say a probe has been launched to determine who provoked the mob’s anger and who assaulted the victim to death.

This case is another example of how horrifying Indonesian style mob justice can be on the road. It’s especially sad when the victim is powerless to defend themselves from a fatal false accusation.

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