A middle-aged Israeli man told police he was brutally beaten by a pair of African men while sitting on a park bench in south Tel Aviv last Saturday night, police confirmed on Monday.
Yevgeni Satkalov, 58, told police that he was sitting on a park bench on Tchelnov Street near the central bus station Saturday night when he was set upon by two African men who began beating him with sticks across his entire body. Satkalov told police the two men appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Satkalov, who was hospitalized in moderate condition with a deep gash on his head, also said that he tried to call the police for help but the dispatcher could not understand him, even when he reached the Russian-language dispatch center.
He finally called his daughter Yana, who contacted police for him.
Tel Aviv police did not release a statement on the incident at the time, but said Monday that they have opened an investigation into the incident and are also examining the conduct of the dispatch team, who was not able to properly answer Satkalov’s call for help.
Last Wednesday night’s race riot in Hatikva followed a series of rapes and violent assaults allegedly committed by African migrants in Tel Aviv, which garnered very widespread media coverage.
Late last week, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch vowed that beginning this past weekend large numbers of Border Police officers would be sent to back up police at the Lewinsky Park police station and throughout the neighborhoods of south Tel Aviv.
By Monday, however, no Border Police presence was noticeable anywhere in south Tel Aviv. Throughout the Hatikva, Neve Sha’anan, and Shapira neighborhoods there was also hardly any police presence whatsoever.
Tel Aviv police said they do not know when or in what capacity the reinforcements would be made by the Border Police and suggested contacting the Public Security Ministry.
A spokesman at the ministry said it isn’t certain how many Border Police officers will be part of the reinforcements, how long they will take to be deployed or where exactly, and suggested contacting the police for an answer. He added however that there has been some support given by the Border Police since last Wednesday’s riot, and that the large-scale reinforcements hopefully will begin soon.