Hapoel Petah Tikva soccer club manager Ofer Tzabari will be released from custody on Sunday following his arrest Thursday night for running over a traffic cop after fleeing police who found him allegedly engaging in suspicious activity with a 17-year-old boy in his vehicle.
Tzabari appeared in court in Tel Aviv on Friday morning, and is being held on suspicion of assaulting a police officer, causing bodily harm and endangering public safety. His attorney Moshe Yochai has denied the charges, saying his client fled after police fired at his vehicle. Tzabari and the teenage boy have both said that whatever sex acts did or did not take place were consensual and that they had met previously on an internet chat site.
The incident began Thursday night after police spotted a suspicious SUV parked in a lot in Bat Yam near the Komemiyut junction. When they approached the window to ask the driver to identify himself they noticed that he was nude. The teen boy exited the car and was taken for questioning, while Tzabari fled the scene.
After fleeing Tzabari hit and moderately wounded officer Noy Zeitoun, 19, who was hospitalized at Wolfson Hospital and released on Friday. Tzabari managed to get away and continue south on the Ayalon freeway, but was caught about an hour later in a remote area of Rishon Letzion.