Not only is it considered the king of fruits, but the durian, with its hard spikes, is arguably the most weaponizable of all fruits, as this case proves.
On Wednesday evening, a military soldier named Ade Septiyanto was manning a durian stall he owns in the city of Bekasi during his off-hours. Ade’s troubles that night began when a man identified by his initials AP, a member of an unnamed mass organization group (aka a gang), went up to him demanding nine durians for free.
“Don’t ask for that many durian. I invested money to be able to sell these durians. I’m going to lose so much,” said Bekasi Police Spokesperson Erna Ruswing, recounting the conversation Ade had with AP, as quoted by Kompas yesterday.
AP, angry and durian-less, went away and soon came back with 14 friends from his organization. According to the police, another soldier named Henrik came to help Ade but the 15 durian extortionists beat up both of them, throwing the spiky fruit at the soldiers’ bodies and faces.
The culprits then immediately fled the scene, reportedly without the durian, leaving Ade and Henrik bruised and battered. The pair were then hospitalized, though the specifics of their injuries were not revealed.
One of the 15 attackers has been arrested and charged with assault and criminal damage, punishable by up to 7 years in prison. The police are still pursuing the remaining 14 attackers.
While the durian’s pungent aroma makes it a divisive fruit among foreigners, it’s a delicacy so revered by some locals that this is far from the first case in which Indonesians have been driven to do bad things just for a taste. Last year, a couple of cops were filmed in a viral video soliciting a durian bribe from a truck driver in place of a ticket for a traffic violation.