Basketball / Police: Attack on Fischer May Have Been Revenge

The plastic surgery department at Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital yesterday afternoon was overwhelmed by the media, which took over the 12th floor for an hour before they were shooed away by staff. At the center of the show was Maccabi Tel Aviv center D'Or Fischer, who suffered moderate facial wounds during a violent confrontation at Mendy's, a restaurant-bar in North Tel Aviv, in the early hours of yesterday morning.

A few minutes before the media circus, Yarkon District police spoke at length with Fischer's father, who had arrived last week to visit his son. One of the suspicions is that the people - most likely criminal elements - who attacked Fischer were trying to take vengeance against his father.

According to one version, the father left the bar, located on the banks of the Yarkon, around 4 A.M., leaving his son with teammate Tre Simmons. D'Or then left to look for his father and was attacked in the parking lot. Fischer said yesterday four people he did not know jumped him, and one of them slashed his face with a broken glass bottle.

Simmons, eyewitnesses say, discovered his friend bleeding and unconscious and took him to the hospital. Simmons and his cousin, who accompanied him, told police he saw a group of men running away into the dark. "Fischer wanted to know what these people wanted from his father, so he went out into the parking lot," said a friend of Fischer yesterday. "They probably waited for him and then attacked him."

Another eyewitness said a fight broke out after the sides exchanged words inside the bar, where everyone was heavily under the influence of alcohol.

A Tel Aviv police official yesterday confirmed that police are following the idea that the incident was not merely an alcohol-fueled bar brawl but one in which people followed Fischer to the bar to take revenge on his father for a recent run-in.

However, they are not ruling out the possibility that Fischer got into a fight after exchanging words with drunken customers.

Fischer spoke with Haaretz yesterday from his hospital room. He commented, "I feel fine. Right now I'm recovering, and I need to rest."