Vicious Jakarta Road-Rage Stabbing Sparks Fears of Rise in Street Violence
Jakarta. Getting stuck in Jakarta’s traffic can often be stressful. But for some, it can almost be fatal.
A recent act of road rage in West Jakarta that left a man in hospital with multiple stab wounds is just the latest incident in what some fear has become a trend of people resorting to violence in the capital.
A bajaj (autorickshaw) driver on Thursday evening was stabbed repeatedly after he reportedly enraged the driver of a Honda Jazz hatchback by incessantly honking his horn.
West Jakarta Police are questioning the alleged assailant, Udin Sadeli, a security guard who works for a discotheque in West Jakarta’s Taman Sari subdistrict, over the incident.
Tambora subdistrict Police chief Comr. Heri Dian Dwiharto said the bajaj driver, identified as Sukari, was currently receiving medical attention at the Sumber Waras Hospital in West Jakarta.
Sukari was reportedly stabbed a number of times with a small knife after he became engaged in an altercation during heavy traffic on Jalan Asemka.
“Sukari’s bajaj was right behind the Honda Jazz,” Heri said on Friday. “Sukari had become impatient and started to blare his horn.”
Heri said the repeated honking apparently irritated Udin, who stepped out of his vehicle to berate Sukari.
“Suddenly, Udin drew a knife and stabbed Sukari,” he said. “It all happened so quickly that Sukari could not dodge the attack and he received several stab wounds all over his body, including to his ear and thigh.”
The attack was witnessed by a number of motorists and local residents, who immediately began bashing Udin.
“Udin was mobbed,” Heri said. “He was beaten up pretty badly and they also tipped his car over. We found out later that the car belonged to someone else.”
Police have arrested Udin and a passenger in his car, who has been identified as Sujono. Four witnesses were also questioned over the incident.
Just this week, the Jakarta Globe has reported on two other violent incidents in the city.
On Tuesday night, a bystander was accidentally shot in the neck after a car chase between a black Toyota Kijang people mover and a white sedan in Tambora, West Jakarta, ended in violence.
A man from the sedan reportedly fired two shots into the air in order to force the driver of the Kijang to step out. But when the driver sped off, the gunman fired at the car and a bullet ricocheted and hit the 30-year-old victim in the neck.
On Saturday night, a 60-year-old auto repair workshop owner in Cilincing, North Jakarta, was shot in the knee after he scolded a man for relieving himself on the roller door of his workshop.
The gunman, apparently offended by the man’s reprimands, retaliated by bashing the victim before shooting him and escaping.
Mohammad Kemal Dermawan, a sociologist and criminologist from the University of Indonesia, said that even though the motives behind the three incidents were different, one could see that more and more people were engaging in violence, and even preparing themselves for it.
“The perpetrators in all three incidents were armed with a weapon,” he said. “This means that they were prepared — all they needed was a trigger.”
Kemal also said that there was often little room for negotiation or discussion with violent people.
The increasing trend of people resorting to violence could be attributed to three things, he said: Ease of which people could procure firearms; the lack of proper law enforcement and gun controls; and stress.
“The third might be a cliche, but the pressure of living in a big city can make people more vulnerable to being overly emotional, which may be caused by traffic jams, economic problems or poverty,” he said.
While fixing Jakarta’s traffic problems or reducing people’s stress levels would be difficult, he said more active policing and better crime prevention measures, including gun control, would significantly reduce the incidence of violence. Zaky Pawas & Ulma Haryanto