Policeman in Indonesia gangs up with mob and beats up reckless driver

7 March 2017

Police officers are expected to maintain law and order, which makes a video from Indonesia showing a policeman appearing to join a mob to hit out at a driver all the more shocking.

The incident occurred on Mar 2 in Purbalingga, Central Java.

According to online reports, the victim, identified as Waskito Budi Utomo, had been driving recklessly when he was asked to pull over by policeman Bripda Afifat Agung Dwi Cahyo.

But Waskito hurled a vulgarity at the officer and sped off again, only coming to a stop after nearly crashing his white Toyota into a motorcycle and a truck, reported Indonesian news website Detik.

At that time, a mob forced him out of his car, and began hitting and kicking him until his head started bleeding. Bripda Afifat initially tried to calm the situation down, but hit out when Waskito tried to grab his leg.

Waskito then tried to escape by running into his car, but then a person in the vicinity suddenly shouted: "Look out, he's holding an iron rod!"

That seemed to anger Bripda Afifat, who kicked him, before dragging him by the hair into a nearby cafe. While being interrogated there, the culprit responded rudely in a raised voice, which again led to the officer hitting him.

Waskito was eventually taken to a police precinct for further questioning.

Meanewhile, Bripda Afifat is also being investigated for his unprofessionalism by the Purbalingga police's internal affairs division, Indonesian website Kompas reported.

However, there may also have been elements of racial and religious hatred at play here, according to Coconuts Jakarta. In the video of the incident, someone in the mob of people who surrounded the driver can be heard asking: "Is he a Christian?"

A video of the whole incident was posted on Facebook on Mar 6 by user Tonny Soendjojo, and has since gone viral with close to 110,000 views.