Man confesses to hitting teen track stars with ATV
The confession came after nearly two weeks of interrogation.
A man confessed yesterday to hitting two members of the national track team with his all-terrain vehicle while the two young women were training. The confession came after nearly two weeks of interrogation.
Tigist Bito, 15, and Radait Baltat, 19, were hospitalized after what the police believe was a deliberate assault on them and fellow team members. The suspect is Yaniv Fayrovskin, who was riding his ATV on the same dirt roads near Kibbutz Givat Brenner where the runners were training on August 31.
Fayrovskin reenacted the events yesterday in the company of police investigators. "I didn't mean to hurt them - I only wanted to frighten them because they were rude to me," Fayrovskin said. "My vehicle skidded and I hit them."
The suspect was arrested a few days after the incident, based in part on video footage. Fayrovskin initially told investigators that while he had been near the scene around the time of the incident he had not seen the group of runners.
Last week Fayrovskin was taken to the general area of the crime and told to retrace his route on the ATV that day. At some point, he began to change his story and was clearly confused about the route he claimed to have used, police officials said.
Fayrovskin was unaware that investigators already knew his route, arrived at by pinpointing the location of his cell phone. Investigators said the suspect's "problematic" reenactment only strengthened their suspicions.
"He was calm throughout his interviews," a senior police officer said. "This wasn't a guy who confesses immediately; for every question he had an answer."
Investigators said that this weekend, after learning that the police had enough evidence to charge him, Fayrovskin broke down during questioning and admitted that he had hit Bito and Baltat with his ATV. He told officers that as he was riding, a group of runners yelled at him to slow down and shouted an obscenity at him.
Fayrovskin said he wanted to frighten the runners to get back at them for insulting him, so he turned around and drove straight at the group. He said he only meant to spray them with dirt, but the vehicle skidded and hit the two young women.
Fayrovskin admitted he saw Bito and Baltat lying in the road, injured and calling for help, and that he fled and failed to notify emergency services. He told investigators he took off because he was afraid.
Fayrovskin will be brought to court today for a detention hearing, his third since his arrest. The Central District police commander, Bentzi Sau, who appointed a special team to investigate the incident, said he was satisfied with the result.