Tunisian charged with murder of Pole; event sparks riots

AP News
|
Posted: Jan 02, 2017 7:34 AM

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish authorities have charged a Tunisian citizen with murder in the stabbing death of a Polish man on New Year's Eve, a case that sparked anti-foreigner rioting in a Polish town.

The mayor of Elk, Tomasz Andrukiewicz, attributed the rioting to the anti-immigrant mood prevailing in Europe, the news agency PAP reported.

The trouble began Saturday evening when the 21-year-old Pole, identified only as Daniel R., got into a quarrel with the employees of a kebab restaurant in Elk, a town of 60,000 people set in the Mazurian lake district in northeastern Poland.

Prosecutor Wojciech Piktel said Monday that investigators are still unsure of all the circumstances, but it appears Daniel R. and another Pole took two bottles of a beverage from the restaurant, Prince Kebab, without paying. In the ensuing brawl, a 26-year-old cook stabbed Daniel R. twice with his knife. The cook could face life in prison if convicted, according to authorities.

Piktel said that the second Pole threw firecrackers into the restaurant.

The following day, people began gathering in front of the restaurant to light candles. They also shouted anti-foreigner slogans and threw stones and firecrackers, breaking windows.

When police arrived, some in the crowd attacked officers with stones and bottles. Police arrested 28 people, and "they may have to answer for destroying public property or disrupting the public order," police spokesman Rafal Jackowski said.