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Hareidi Man Suing Police for Forced Shabbat Car Ride

A hareidi resident of Petach Tikvah is suing police for NIS 2.5 million, after police forced him to ride to a police station on Shabbat.
By David Lev
First Publish: 3/3/2014, 11:52 AM

Police car
Police car
Israel news photo: Flash 90

A hareidi resident of Petach Tikvah is suing police for NIS 2.5 million, after police forced him to ride to a police station on Shabbat. The lawsuit is based on the man's forced violation of the Sabbath at the hand of police, even though he was prepared to cooperate with police and walk to the station, which was a five minute stroll away, the man's attorney said.

The incident began on a Saturday afternoon several months ago, the attorney said, when the man argued loudly with his wife, and neighbors called the police. Police arrived and sought to calm the situation, and eventually decided to take the man into custody. Police handcuffed him and demanded that he ride with them to the police station, but the man refused, saying that it was Shabbat and that, since it was not a matter of life and death, he was forbidden to ride to the station.

He offered to walk to the station, accompanied by police, but the officers refused to allow him to do so. Instead, they used a taser to disable him, and dragged him into the police car, in front of his wife and five small children. He was taken to the station and eventually released.

Since then, his attorney said, the victim has been suffering from pains, nightmares, lack of sleep, and excessive fear. In addition, the attorney said, the incident was very embarrassing, and has harmed his relationship with his family and neighbors. He has also been treated professionally at a psychiatric facility, with an expert saying that he was psychologically damaged from the incident.

From a working provider for his family, the victim has been turned into a shell of a man who is damaged psychologically,” the plaintiff's attorney said. “He is having a hard time dealing with day to day challenges, and is in need of assistance at all times.”

The court said that it would soon set a trial date.