'Faulty response' leads to shake-up in Petah Tikva police

A domestic violence incident that almost ended in catastrophe for a local woman triggers disciplinary hearing for patrol department captain.

The commanders of the Petah Tikva police station received a sharp slap in the face this week following the conclusion of a probe into their management of a domestic violence incident that almost ended in catastrophe for one local woman. "In the investigation we found operational errors in the response to the incident," said one Central District officer after district chief Cmdr. Nissim Mor announced that he would initiate a series of serious disciplinary and administrative steps against the officers involved and responsible for the errors. Eyewitnesses said that ten days ago, local police turned a blind eye to the potential for disaster. Officers reportedly responded to neighbors' claims of a public disturbance and their observations of Konstantin Botchkarniko drunk and wielding a hammer, but then left the scene without entering the apartment to ensure the safety of his partner. Only the next morning did she manage to reach help, after Botchkarniko had stabbed her repeatedly and then lit her on fire. Under questioning, Botchkarniko admitted to attacking her, claiming that he had done so because he believed her to be a witch. He said that he stabbed her, and when he found that she was not bleeding sufficiently, tried to break her spine, and then poured a flammable substance on her and set her on fire. Mor launched an official probe into the course of events mere hours after the gravity of the incident was revealed, and on Monday delivered his ruling. The shift captain of the patrol department will face a disciplinary hearing and will be removed from his current position. The duty officer that evening, who holds the rank of Chief Superintendent, received a disciplinary citation in his file and will be transferred out of his position. The patrolmen who responded to the call will also face a disciplinary hearing. The patrol commander of the Petah Tikva station, who also holds the rank of Chief Superintendent, will be transferred to a position outside of the station, and Petah Tikva station commander Dep.-Cmdr. Alon Ariyeh will receive a disciplinary citation in his personnel file, as well. In addition, Mor decided to make a series of early personnel appointments of new officers to the patrol units in the Petah Tikva station to take the places of the current noncommissioned team commanders.