Police car in Tel Aviv at night 311.
(photo credit: Yoni Cohen)
While Police chief Insp.-Gen. Yohanan Danino on Friday night toured the streets of Tel Aviv on the backdrop of a crime wave that has shaken the nation, it was the city of Holon where a scene developed adding further momentum to nationwide fears that violent crime is infesting Israel's growing urban enclaves.
It was there police managed to bring down a 19-year-old motorcyclist they said was trying to rob and murder a man traveling in a taxi cab in that city, which sits inland just south of Tel Aviv-Jaffa.
After receiving phone calls from city residents reporting a number of gunshots, police dispatched law enforcement officers to the scene.
They arrived after what initial investigations have revealed was a failed robbery of a passenger riding in a taxi cab.
Police tried to flag down the motorcyclist, who was carrying a second passenger, but the driver instead turned his vehicle and began speeding at one of the officers on the scene.
Police fired shots towards the motorcycle, hitting the driver in the leg. He fell from the bike, which crashed nearby, while the passenger fled the scene on foot.
The driver, a Jaffa resident known to police, suffered moderate injuries in his leg and from the fall. Paramedics transferred him to the Wolfson Medical Center in the city for treatment as the investigation continues.
Because the biker-gunman fired shots at the cab, police may charge him with attempted murder.
Meanwhile, speaking in Tel Aviv during his tour, Israel's police chief Danino complimented the operation in Holon and said the officers dispatched to the scene acted according to protocol.
The police chief was touring the city, which in recent weeks has made headlines for a series of rapes - including one just outside the central municipal building - and violent crimes, like a daytime Frishman Street shootout, that has shaken residents.
While he toured accompanied by a number of senior officers, Danino said the battle against crime was "national challenge," calling for a 20 percent increase in the number of officers patrolling the country's streets.