A court released on Tuesday the Dutch tourist who was shot and seriously wounded by police trying to arrest him for allegedly threatening to “slaughter Jews.”
Judge Hadassah Naor of the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court said the police’s evidence consisted only of reports by back-up officers called to the scene.
The police had asked the court to detain the man, Bo Schimmelpfennig, 32, for several more days on charges of making threats, attacking a police officer and obstructing a police officer in the execution of his duty.
The police told the court what the two officers at the scene in Bat Yam Monday had reported – that Schimmelpfennig had attacked them. They added that the family in whose home he had been living told the police he said he had seen aliens. According to the family, Schimmelpfennig also said he wanted to “slaughter Jews.”
Schimmelpfennig, who is in the hospital on a respirator, has been unable to give his version of events.
Naor said that since she did not have enough evidence, she could not confirm a suspicion that the suspect attacked either of the two police officers. “The circumstances of the shooting are unclear,” she said.
Naor added that other than a minor attack by the suspect on the people who called the police, she found no evidence of an offense. She then ordered the suspect unconditionally released.
Before shooting Schimmelpfennig, who was unarmed, police used pepper spray.
Representatives of the Justice Ministry’s police investigation department, which has launched a probe into the incident, returned to the scene of the shooting with the two officers involved.
“This is a very serious case of police violence,” public defender Yashar Yaakobi said after Tuesday’s hearing. “The suspect, following a very minor incident after which the police were called, found himself closed in a stairwell with two police officers with guns drawn and got a bullet in the stomach … We hope he comes out of this alive.”
Yaakobi said the fact that the police reports were not presented to the judge indicates “that there is something to hide.”