Presidential Driver Accused of Assaulting 88-Year-Old

88-year-old from Herzliya submits police complaint after suffering broken bone from assault, driver claims 'self-defense.'

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Ari Yashar,

Shimon Peres in his car
Shimon Peres in his car
Flash 90

An 88-year-old man from Herzliya submitted a complaint to the police on Thursday against a driver of the Director General of the Presidential Residence, accusing him of assault.

The man, Tzadok Cohen, stepped out of his home on Ben Tzvi Street at 8 a.m. on Thursday to pick up the newspaper. Cohen's grandson told Yedioth Aharonoth that Cohen saw the driver of Efrat Duvdevani, Director General of the Presidential Residence, arrive to pick her up from her home, located adjacent to that of Cohen.

Cohen reportedly complained to the driver after seeing him park partially on the sidewalk and crosswalk.

At that point, Cohen's grandson relates that the driver got out of his vehicle and punched the 88-year-old Cohen in the face, knocking him to the ground.

The elderly man was evacuated to Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba, suffering from a broken bone in his thigh and wounds on his face. He was brought to the operating room for treatment of his broken bone.

"Now he's hospitalized. We don't understand how someone could attack an elderly man like this," said the grandson. "I'm getting married in another month, and my grandfather was supposed to stand by my side under the chuppah (wedding canopy). Now that won't happen."

The driver, who is in his 50s, claims that he acted in "self-defense." According to his version of the story, the 88-year-old man attacked him first, forcing him to defend himself, apparently to the point of punching the elderly man.

Police have opened an investigation into the incident and took the driver in for questioning. The driver was released under limited conditions, including being forbidden to contact Cohen and being required to provide a monetary guarantor.