Five Suspects Named in Indonesian YouTube Murders
Police named five suspects on Wednesday in connection with a brutal gang-related brawl in Bekasi, West Java that ended in the video-taped murder of two men who were stabbed, beaten and then set on fire in a case of mistaken identity.
Five residents of Rawa Bambu village, in Bekasi — identified as S.T.A., 37, M.S., 30, M.F., 21, I.R., 35, and E.K., 19 — allegedly attacked two men, La Ode Amsir and Johny David Situmorang, on March 19. They believed the men were members of a rival gang.
“Both were thought to be members of the Ambon gang and were killed sadistically,” Jakarta police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said at the Jakarta police headquarters on Wednesday.
Four of the men were directly involved in the attack, while the fifth man recorded the brawl on his cell phone and posted the footage to YouTube. The grainy video shows a man laying in an exposed gutter, trying to defend himself as a group of men viciously attack him with weapons and a metal pipe before setting the man on fire.
“S.T.A. stabbed victim La Ode Amsir with a sickle and hit him with a
metal staff, M.S. poured gasoline over the victim, M.F. stabbed the
victim’s head using a machete, I.R. stabbed the victim’s waist with a
machete, while E.K. recorded the incident with a cell phone and uploaded
it on YouTube,” Rikwanto explained.
The entire ordeal happened in broad daylight and before a large crowd. Many of the spectators also videotaped the attacks with their cellphones. There are currently multiple videos of the event on YouTube.
The murders were likely triggered by growing tensions in Bekasi after the arrest of alleged gang leader John Kei, police said. Kei was named as the prime suspect in the murder of Sanex Steel president Tan Harry Tantono, 51, who was found dead with stab wounds to his neck and stomach in the Swiss-Belhotel in Central Jakarta on Jan. 26.
“The Ambon gang has
caused restlessness among the locals. Some have been drinking and
asking for money. We’re still hunting the agent provocateurs of this
incident,” Sr. Comr. Toni Hermanto, director for general crime investigation with the Jakarta police, said.
The investigation was still ongoing and police might name other suspects in the case, he added.