Sun, 05 Nov 2000

Policeman mobbed to death

GOWA, South Sulawesi (JP): A police officer was mobbed to death on Friday when he attempted to arrest a suspected thief in the Bontonompo district of Gowa regency, some 25 kilometers south of Makassar.

Second Insp. Don Bosco Sagala, a police detective from the Takalar Police in Makassar, died from the wounds he received during the attack.

Witnesses said the father of two was attacked during a wedding reception in the village of Leko Bodong when he, accompanied by five other officers, tried to arrest a former convict named Bazar, who allegedly stole some cattle belonging to residents.

Witnesses said Bazar, helped by three men who were also ex- convicts, resisted arrest and tried to take Sagala's handgun.

"Sagala then fired three warning shots. At that point, the ex- convicts and those at the wedding party turned violent. They cornered Sagala, and he shot a local named Rala," a witness, who asked for anonymity, said. "Rala is now being treated at Gowa General Hospital."

Sagala and his five friends tried to escape. Sagala hid in a resident's house, but the mob broke in and killed him.

"Sagala's body was dragged out and left on the village road," the witness said. "All the attackers are still at large."

South Sulawesi Police chief of detectives Sr. Supt. Untung S. Radjab said it was premeditated murder. (27/sur)