Teen Accused of Killing Cyclist in Case of Mistaken Identity in Northern Israel

Noa Shpigel
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Teen at Nazareth District Court, March 21, 2016.
Teen at Nazareth District Court, March 21, 2016.Credit: Rami Shlush
Noa Shpigel

A 17-year-old boy was charged Monday in the stabbing death of a 56-year-old Afula man, whom the suspect attacked in a case of mistaken identity.

Late one night two months ago, police got a report of a man lying injured near his electric bicycle on an Afula street. Evyatar Kitetz succumbed to his wounds at the hospital and a gag order was imposed on the investigation until Monday's indictment in Nazareth District Court.

According to the charge sheet, Kitetz, who did not know the teenager, was riding his bike wearing a scarf over his face. The boy, armed with a kitchen knife, had apparently been waiting for a man with whom he was having a dispute, and mistook Kitetz for that person. He ran after Kitetz and stabbed him three times with the knife.

The teenager, who has a criminal record, was arrested a few days later. TAttorney Menachem Eyal, who is representing the Kitetz family, said, “We believe he’ll be convicted of murder. To kill a man is not a small thing. I don’t understand the issue of mistaken identity. You just jump on a man and stab him? Criminal terror is raging in the streets because people decide to take the law into their own hands.”

Attorney Zohar Arbel, who is representing the accused, said, “We’re talking about a 17-year-old who comes from a totally normative family. For a month-and-a-half police conducted a covert investigation and didn’t manage to establish a basic evidentiary case. After his arrest, police put the youth in the middle of the night into a lock-up with two adults who threatened him so they could extract a false confession from him. Under questioning by police, the minor maintained his innocence. We don’t believe the court will support such a perverse process and will exonerate the minor at the end of the procedure.”

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