Int'l arrest warrant issued for French hit-and-run suspect

Two French nationals fled to Paris after their jeep struck and killed 25-year-old Lee Zeitouni, police say.

September 17, 2011 20:10
2 minute read.
Hit-and-run victim Lee Zeitouni

Hit-and-run victim Lee Zeitouni 311. (photo credit: Courtesy: Facebook)


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An international arrest warrant has been issued for two French nationals suspected of running down and killing a 25-year-old woman in north Tel Aviv on Friday.

Police suspect that Claude Issac, 40, and Eric Rubic, 38, flew to Paris with their families soon after the lethal hit and run, and obtained the arrest warrant from the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court on Saturday night.

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Police have asked Interpol to assist in bringing the suspects into custody.

"The two escaped the scene and drove through red lights. They hid the car in the parking lot of the building they lived in, on Maze Street in Tel Aviv," a Tel Aviv police spokesman said.

"Immediately afterward, they gathered their belongings in suitcases and fled the country with their families. They're now in Paris," she added.

Earlier on Saturday, police carried out a nation-wide search for the men, described as French tourists.

On Friday morning, Zeitouni, a Pilates instructor, was on her way to a gym to give a class when she was struck by a black BMW sports utility vehicle on Pinkhas Street.

The blow sent heri flying onto the oncoming lane, where she was struck by a second vehicle. She was instantly killed.

The BMW raced away from the scene of the accident.

Zeiotuni was identified at the scene by stunned colleagues from her gym. Magen David Adom paramedics pronounced her dead on the scene.

Police launched a major search for the vehicle, and asked members of the public to report any possible sighting of a BMW X6 model that fit the description of the vehicle seen striking Zeituni.

After several hours, a Tel Aviv resident responded to the appeal and reported finding a BMW with visible damage to its front in parking lot of a building on Tel Aviv's Maze street. It was traced to a French tourist named later as Eric Rubic.

There was some confusion earlier on Saturday over whether the men had fled the country. Law enforcement sources had told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday that all lines of inquiry were being examined, and that it had not yet been established whether men had fled to France or not.

Border officials at the country's air and sea ports had been notified of the suspects' identities, and Tel Aviv police have created a special task force to track down the suspects.

Zeitouni was born and raised in Kibbutz Nave Or in northern Israel. She leaves behind her parents, two brothers, and a sister.

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