Man Indicted for Attacking Elderly Couple in Northern Israel City

Rom Marshi, 30, has record of violence and will be sent for psychiatric examination and hospitalization

Rom Marshi during his arraignment in Haifa's county court, April 3, 2018
Rami Shllush

Rom Marshi, 30, was indicted on Monday for attacking his neighbors, an elderly couple, in Haifa last month and severely injuring one of them. Marshi is charged with aggravated assault and battery as well as attacking a police officer who came to aid the couple, and intentionally causing damage to property.

Marshi will be held in detention in a psychiatric hospital and undergo observation and a psychiatric examination.

The indictment states that on March 12, Marshi was acting strange while out with his mother in Haifa and she began to worry. She called the police and the Magen David Adom ambulance service. About 7:30 A.M., Marshi began to uproot plants in the yard of his home and damaged fences and other items. The owner of the building asked him to stop and after Marshi threatened him, he called the police. Two police officers arrived and asked Marshi what he was doing, and he began shouting at them and attacked the female police officer, prosecutors say.

The police officers tried to arrest him and shot at him with a Taser stun gun, but he attacked the woman officer again, this time with a gardening saw. She shot at his legs with her pistol but missed and he escaped unharmed. He reached the apartment of his elderly neighbors, Yitzhak and Hannah Zolinger, and attacked them with the saw, wounding Yitzhak severely. Hannah was lightly injured.

After 20 minutes the police managed to break into the apartment and evacuate the couple for medical treatment while Marshi barricaded himself in one of the rooms and attacked one of the police officers with a knife, states the indictment. After three hours, police arrested him and removed him from the apartment.

Marshi has previous convictions for possession of a knife, making threats and fighting from 2007, as well as other crimes.

The Zolingers’ granddaughter, Carmel Kamin, said Marshi lived in the same building that he had when he broke into the apartment of an elderly woman who died two years ago. The apartment was transferred to the government. “For over a year they reported him to the authorities, and nothing was done. This disturbed man caused my grandfather to now be sedated and respirated in intensive care,” Kamin tweeted.

After the incident, Kamin told Haaretz that the man who attacked her grandparents was mentally ill. She said he was aggressive toward them and they felt threatened by him. “We turned to the police a number of times, they came a few times to check and did nothing,” she said.

“He would come to them with complaints, tell them: ‘Why did you go to the police, I’ll kill you.’” He went crazy that day too and went after them, she added.