Assault by Australian to be Settled with Blood Money?
Western Australian Man Brutally Attacks Taxi Driver in Kuta, Bali
Radarbali.com reports the case of an Australian national acting criminally during his Bali holiday when 23-year-old Tore Gerard Vincenzo Bempasciuto, from Ferndale in Western Australia, assaulted a local taxi driver.
The attack, perpetrated by Bempasciuto and a female companion, took place on Wednesday, January 15, 2020, at 4:15 am near the LXXY Bali Bar on Jalan Legian Kelod, in Kuta. Police from the Kuta Police Precinct recount that the attack happened as an East Javanese taxi driver, Saiful Nurokhim, was chatting with a group of taxi drivers when the Australian and his female friend angrily approached and suddenly head-butted the driver.
Bempasciuto then snatched the taxi driver's handphone and walked on. Nurokhim chased after the Australian who had just taken his phone who then paused to deliver repeated blows to the driver’s eye socket, nose, and mouth leaving his victim lying in a roadside ditch.
Police who collected CCTV footage from the area of the attack saw both the Australian and his female companion beating the taxi driver on film. When other drivers tried to come to Saiful Nurokhim’s assistance, the Australian fought back, hitting at least one of the defenders in the cheek.
The Australian reportedly then smashed the handphone snatched from the taxi driver moments before.
In the growing scene of chaos, Bempasciuto and his companion tried to flee, slipping and falling into a roadside ditch in the process. Regaining their footing, the couple then fled into a nearby Indomaret convenience store.
The beaten and bloodied taxi driver immediately went to the Kuta Police headquarters, summoning police to the location of the attack. Police found the couple on the third floor of the convenience store where, during interrogation, the Australian initially refused to admit to the physical assault, despite the evidence captured on CCTV. Bempasciuto later related to police that the altercation happened after he had visited the Bounty Night Club where he sensed he was being followed by several men. When he left the bar and restaurant complex, he realized his handphone was missing. While walking away in a southerly direction, he saw Nurokhim standing in a group, claiming to police that the driver resembled one of the people following him in the Bounty Bar.
The driver, Saiful Nurokhim’, suffered a number of cuts, abrasions, and bruises to his face and the destruction of his damaged handphone valued at Rp. 2 million.
Bempasciuto remains in detention at the Kuta Police Station while police continue to investigate the case.
Meanwhile, Western Australian media report the man’s mother has rushed to Bali to be with her now-jailed son. An attorney, hired by the family, said his Australian client realizes he made a mistake and is hoping to “strike a peace deal” with the driver to avoid criminal prosecution and a jail term. “Peace deals” of this type in Bali typically include a compensatory amount of money paid to the victim to induce him to drop his criminal complaint with the police.