Dutchmen Attempt Murder in Prague

I’ve been watching coverage of this particular incident for a while, mainly via the Czech press. It has to do with an violent episode in downtown Prague last April 21 (a Saturday evening) when a group of Dutch citizens beat a waiter unconscious at a downtown sidewalk restaurant after he objected to their bringing along their own alcohol to the meal. The latest development, reported about a month ago (i.e. first week of August, 2018), is that two members out of that group – brothers, as it turns out – judged to have acted most violently now face attempted murder charges from Czech justice.

They were a group of seven men, presumably having traveled to Prague for some “stag party”-type fun. And yes, they seized maximally the chance to display their upbringing, their courage and their sheer manhood by ganging up en masse against the sole waiter, quickly getting him on the ground and then repeatedly hitting and kicking him there, breaking his jaw and and an eye-socket and rendering him unconscious. This happened at a very public location, namely in the shadow of the Tesco department store and right by the Národní třída Metro entrance (not to mention a famous statue of the head of Franz Kafka by David Černý), and things went on in front of plenty of witnesses (and cameras) until the gang decided they needed to escape any oncoming police intervention and ran off. So we can also assume they didn’t bother paying for the meal they were in the process of consuming.

Don’t worry, they were all eventually captured, and brought before Czech justice. To be clear, according to the latest Dutch coverage, of the seven perpetrators two were released without charge because of evidence that they had actually tried to calm their colleagues down rather than fight. Three others of the group were given an eight-month suspended jail sentence and deported out of the country, which they are not allowed to re-enter for the next five years (something admittedly difficult to enforce given that the Czech Republic is in the EU’s passport-free Schengen Zone). The remaining two are still jailed in Prague to this day; evidence subsequently submitted about the serious nature of the waiter’s wounds has led the Prague authorities to increase the charges agains them to attempted murder (possible 18 year jail sentence).

I have two further points to add about this disgraceful incident:

1) Here’s where it’s handy to be able to read the press from both sides, as I rather doubt the Dutch newspapers caught wind of the following. Turns out that, in search of this incident’s suspects, the Prague police initially raided a local hotel the following morning and arrested a group of seven foreign men there visiting Prague. Problem was: they were Israeli, they had nothing to do with the attack on the waiter! That was covered here, in the Czech press at the end of May.

As you can imagine, the Prague police went in hard, SWAT-like, to make this arrest, with rifles, helmets and the policemen’s faces covered. They weren’t very polite in rounding up those seven suspect Israelis from their hotel room, either, nor in frog-marching them out the front door – blindfolded and each man’s arms on the shoulders of the man in front of him – off to jail. The video, in Czech, on that page linked to above shows various items of ripped clothing and scratches, etc. on these false suspects’ bodies. What is more, when it finally was clear that they had put up with this treatment as pure innocents, not only did they receive no formal official apology, but the subsequent internal police investigation into the incident did not take long to conclude that everything was fine in the way the arrests of these seven innocent Israelis had been carried out – except only the inconvenient fact that they were innocent! Talk about Keystone Kops!

2) You can get a good look at three of the actual, guilty perpetrators in the tweet at the top of this post. Then there is this piece, from the site of a local Dutch radio station, Omroep West,that identifies them all as living in The Hague or its suburbs, and features at the top a jolly picture of all seven smiling for the camera posed against the Vltava River on what I calculate is the Legionnaires’ Bridge – by the way, wearing the same clothes (maybe it’s the only set they packed) in which they are seen in the security-camera videos beating up on that poor waiter.

Now, any Dutchman/-woman is going to want to dissociate him/herself with these louts, and I am going to attempt to do that here. Just look at them: clearly they are of the darker, swarthier type more native to the shores of the Mediterranean – with its Latin/Turkish/Arab cultures of engorged (young) male pride and propensity to violence – than the banks of the North Sea. Obviously they were carrying Netherlands passports: fine, but I say they are immigrants, or at the most only first-generation descended from immigrants, who clearly have some work to do in inculcating Dutch national values about how to behave. I myself am hardly anti-immigrant – immigration helps people who are in danger and is also a boon to the receiving country, and of course the vast majority of those coming in either already know how to behave in a civilized manner or can pick that skill up fairly quickly. These guys – other than the two who were not charged – missed that memo, and for two of them up to 18 years imprisonment in the Czech Republic may await.


By the way, these guys were apparently also blockheads (I mean, more than what we already know about them to this point). For that Omroep West piece that shows them posing on the bridge also claims that when they were arrested the following day at Prague airport trying to leave, they had no idea they were wanted by the police. (Imagine the army of hooded policemen and heavy weapons the authorities had waiting for them at the airport!) What sort of Wild West did these guys think the Czech Republic is, that they could beat up someone in broad daylight and it could all be accepted by the authorities as nothing out of the ordinary?

But I don’t believe that they did not know the police were looking for them for, after all, didn’t they flee from that sidewalk restaurant once they decided they had beat up enough on the waiter? If we assume that they did know, though, they were certainly blockheads for thinking that they could catch their flight at the airport. Where else did they think the police would be able to find them, if all else failed? Even the Keystone Kops Prague police! By the way, the Omroep West report also mentions that, initially, they refused to accept the assistance offered to them in jail by visiting Dutch embassy officials. But they changed their mind, and they’ve also hired a Czech lawyer for the very serious case of the two worst-behaved who remain behind in jail. Those guys are going to need it.

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