Mon, 16 Oct 2000

Brimob officers, teenagers brawl

JAKARTA (JP): At least five were injured in an unusual brawl on Saturday night between teenage "punk rockers" and officers of the elite National Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) near the Moestopo University, which is located close to Plaza Senayan in South Jakarta.

A local resident, Djefry, said on Sunday that the punks were hanging out near the university at about 11 p.m. on Saturday, when a truck carrying Brimob officers in black uniforms passed by.

"The teenagers started to make fun of the Brimob officers, which the officers took to heart," Djefry said, as quoted by Antara.

"A verbal clash followed, and then stones, glasses, and mineral water bottles started to fly, and the punks, who were dressed in leather and chains, started running in all directions."

The teenagers were waiting for a rock concert in a field nearby the university which had been canceled, and this was the reason why they were hanging out in the university area.

Funny scenes ensued with the punks, half their heads shaved and the other half with spiked hair, being chased around by Brimob officers.

"The fun ended when the punks entered the kitchens of people's homes. I was shocked to see an officer enter my house and run around after my brother in the kitchen. He actually hit my brother in the ribs," Djefry said.

Local residents, he said, got very angry when the officers failed to differentiate between locals and the punks, and even started firing their weapons in the air, terrifying the residents.

"There were men wearing sarong (cloth bound around the waist) for going to bed ... and the police started chasing after them," another resident, Sutopo, said.

"The ear of a resident was badly cut and started bleeding profusely, because of the crazy act of one officer. We condemn the irresponsibility of these officers."

A duty officer at the South Jakarta police precinct, Second. Insp. Robert Deo, confirmed the incident, but said that the officers were not from his precinct.

"The area is quite calm now. But, I haven't received the latest information from there yet," he said. (ylt)