Two young men, aged 25 and 26, were arrested Monday night on suspicion of physically assaulting a 71-year-old man in Herzliya. Apparently, the reason for the attack was the slow speed the elderly man was driving in.
Tuesday, the Tel Aviv District Court remanded the two young men from Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan to house arrest after they allegedly pushed the man during a heated argument. During the confrontation the man felt chest pains and was hospitalized at Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba, where he was diagnosed as possibly suffering from a heart attack; his condition is currently stable.
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Maya Reiten, the lawyer representing the accused, spoke in court Tuesday and said: "The two claim that the small street they were driving on was blocked. According to them, the elderly man exited his car, screaming and causing a commotion.
"They were frightened and exited the car with the intent of calming the situation, but then a large crowd arrived at the scene and began chasing them. They escaped and there was, according to them, no physical contact whatsoever with the elderly man. He just suddenly collapsed."
The attorney further claimed that the man's nephew confirmed her clients' version of the story, but the police's representative claimed otherwise, saying: "Our investigation reports reads differently."
In explaining his decision to remand them to house arrest, Judge Shaul Avinur cited the two's lack of criminal record.
Dr. Yoal Arbel, head of Meir Hospital's Intensive Care Unit, described the man's condition: "He arrived here after losing consciousness, according to him because of an argument on a Herzliya road.
"An examination revealed that he has cardiac dysfunction and a temporary pacemaker has been put in place. He is still hospitalized in the intensive care unit, and his condition is stable and defined as light to moderate. We are still not sure whether he suffered a heart attack or not."
The incident occurred at around 10 pm Monday night. The 71-year-old was driving in his car with a number of family members, apparently in search for a parking spot en route to a Mimuna feast.
Tailgating him were the two young men, who for some time attempted to bypass him. An argument ensued, and both parties pulled over and exited their vehicles.
Police believe that during the argument the suspects pushed the elderly man, causing him to fall to the sidewalk.
Following the attack, the man complained of chest pains and requested an ambulance be sent to the scene. Magen David Adom paramedics arrived and decided to evacuate the man to the hospital, where it was revealed he had suffered a heart attack.
The two suspects were arrested Monday night. On Tuesday they will be bought before a Tel Aviv District Judge, and police will request their remand be extended.
The event occurred just three days after Friday's attack on a 79-year-old Holocaust survivor – who was punched after asking a man's children to stop destroying benches in central Holon – and two days after Saturday's attack on a 75 year old – who was attacked because he had the 'audacity’ to chide a couple for letting their dog loose in the children’s play area in his Herzliya neighborhood.
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