Policeman Indicted on Two Counts of Assault

A Holon policeman was indicted yesterday in the Rishon Letzion Magistrate's Court on two counts of assault and assault resulting in serious injury. Policeman Oren Azoulay, 34, was charged with using extreme force in two cases. He was also charged with uncalled-for use of tear gas and pepper spray.

According to the indictment prepared by the Justice Ministry's Police Investigations Department on July 7, 2007, Azoulay and a policewoman tried to disperse a group of people on Mesilat Ha'olim Street in Holon. An 18-year-old at the scene with a friend said she would leave after she finished eating. Azoulay then allegedly grabbed her by her hair and neck, pushed her down, kicked her and put his foot on her back. The indictment says he then sprayed her with tear gas before the policewoman helped Azoulay handcuff her.

A bystander protesting Azoulay's actions called him "garbage," at which point Azoulay arrested the man and sprayed him with tear gas. He also allegedly stopped his vehicle on the way to the police station and punched the man in the face in apparent response to remarks the man made.

Two months later, Azoulay and a policewoman responded to an assault at the Hatzi Hinam food outlet in Holon. Azoulay demanded to see the ID of a man at the scene, David Shalom, an argument then ensued and Azoulay pepper-sprayed Shalom's father and struck Shalom after he was already on the ground. The policewoman and two bystanders were also hit with the pepper spray.