Man gets 7 months for knife-wielding assault on TA inspector

A 63-year-old Tel Aviv man was sentenced to seven months in prison this week for assaulting and threatening a municipal parking inspector who wrote him a ticket.
The Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court issued the sentence after the parties reached a plea agreement.
According to the indictment, in September 2008, Yoseph Kraspi, a truck driver from the city’s southeastern Kfar Shalem neighborhood, hit on the head, choked and held a knife to the throat of a parking inspector whom he saw writing a ticket on his illegally parked truck.
Kraspi, who had parked near his home, saw two inspectors writing him a ticket. He began shouting and threatening them from his apartment window. When the inspectors ignored him, he approached them carrying a knife that he took out of his truck’s cabin. Kraspi grabbed a ticket book from one of the inspectors and threw it in his face. He then held the knife to the inspector’s throat and threatened to cut him.
The attack ended when the second inspector sprayed Kraspi with pepper spray and the inspectors’ driver came out to pull Kraspi away. The second inspector and the driver were also injured in the scuffle.
Kraspi was convicted of assaulting a public employee, aggravated assault and making threats. Judge Avichai Doron added six months’ probation to the sentence.
“The court is obligated to protect the public in general, and public employees in particular, from acts of violence, especially in the course of their work. The public interest of protecting the public and public employees from violent elements requires genuine deterrence, which will be achieved by adequate punishment. The fact that the assault was in response to a parking ticket only makes matters worse,” Doron wrote in his ruling.
Tel Aviv Inspection Division director Yoav Yardeni told Yediot Aharonot that such an assault was rare and becoming even rarer. Yardeni said that reported attacks on city inspectors had dropped from 160 in 2005 to 67 in 2009.
The city reported all attacks to the police and filed civil suits against the assailants, he said.
ATel Aviv parking inspector who asked to remain anonymous saidinspectors were attacked daily and rarely filed reports about them. “Idon’t even get upset about the curses and threats. You learn to filterout the abuse. But an attack like that is going too far,” he said.
The inspector said Doron had been too lenient, and that the attacker should have received a longer sentence.
“Ofcourse we know that we are hated, but I think most people have thesense not to get too upset about a parking ticket. Let them swear atme, but there is no justification for violence,” he said.