The two youths who were shot at by police in on Thursday have been arrested on multiple violations, with the father of one of the suspects crying foul and giving an entirely different account of what took place.
Two young men aged 22 and 19 were arrested after being released from hospital on Thursday, following an accident with their quad bike after they were shot at by police. They reportedly failed to stop after they were flagged down Thursday morning around 1:20am by two male officers in civilian clothes in Argaka, Paphos.
Police said the driver of the quad bike ignored the signal to stop and instead drove towards one of the officers, with the law enforcement official firing a warning shot in the air and then two more shots were fired aimed at the tires in an attempt to stop the vehicle that was speeding away.
But the father of one of the suspects went on local television saying the two youths did not do anything to raise suspicion, adding that they did not have enough time to realize they were being flagged by cops.
'I believe they don’t know how to carry out their duties and I think they are abusing power vested in them by the state'
“If you see someone in the dark, in civilian clothes, raising a flashlight and signaling for you to stop, what are you going to do?” he asked the news anchor.
The father also said the shots that were fired ended up injuring the two young men, who got into an accident some 500 metres away from the incident. The police officers, according to the father, left the area without approaching the injured youths to check on them.
“I don’t want to insult the entire Cyprus police force but let’s talk about these particular officers. I believe they don’t know how to carry out their duties and I think they are abusing power vested in them by the state,” the father said.
“We can’t have officers in civilian clothes and without a patrol car expect that two youths, who are going 30 kilometres per hour in a residential area, will stop after shining the light in their faces from just five metres away,” the father added.
Police say officers had previously received reports of burglary activity in the area but stopped short of describing the nature of their suspicion towards the two men.
Following an inspection of the quad bike, which was found abandoned in the area close to the location of the incident, officers issued an arrest warrant for the two men on multiple charges including carrying a hunting rifle without a permit.
The two men, who were arrested immediately upon release from hospital, are also facing common assault charges, reckless driving, reckless behaviour, failing to comply with an officer’s commands, and various traffic offences.
The father of one of the suspects said he has consulted with his lawyers and is preparing to file a complaint against the police over the shooting incident.
The two youths were said to be in good health with only minor injuries, while reports said doctors determined a bullet had only grazed the leg of one of the suspects.