x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Dubai shop owners and youths charged over brawl

A shopowner who complained to police that he and three friends were assaulted by a gang of youths has been arrested.

DUBAI // Six people have been charged in connection with a fight at a mobile-phone shop – including the two owners who say they were beaten by a gang of stick-wielding youths.

Naser Osman and his Emirati business partner Amer Mohammed complained that police stood by and refused to intervene while they and two customers were attacked by more than 10 youths after an argument at the shop in Satwa on Monday evening.

Police said yesterday it was a case of “mutual assault” and they had charged the two shop-owners, the two customers and two Emirati youths and referred the case to Public Prosecution.

“We have carried out careful investigations, including the questioning of many witnesses, and we concluded that only two youngsters were involved in the fight,” said Col Ali Ghanem, the director of Bur Dubai police station.

“The fact that many people gathered around the fight gave the impression that there were many more involved.”

The two Emirati youths remain in custody because they failed to provide bail, while the four other men have been bailed.

Col Ghanem said the two youths were arrested at the scene, but were released to attend Rashid Hospital for a medical report on their injuries.

“They did not come back on the same day, but they showed up at the police station the following day,” he said. “They told us during questioning that they were provoked by the shop owner.”

Col Ghanem said an internal investigation into the actions of the arresting officers had concluded that they acted correctly.

“We made sure that the right procedures were followed by the policemen present at the site,” he said. “I am not sure why the owner of the shop exaggerated the whole situation.”

Mr Osman, however, is standing by his account of the incident, which, he says, is supported by CCTV footage from the shop and by independent witnesses.

“You can ask all the people around Satwa and they will give you the same answer as mine,” he said. “It took police more than 30 minutes to arrive and they did not stop the youths. They did not do anything.

“I have proof. The police should listen to us. I spoke about the facts, everything I saw, I said. I did not add any spice.”

Mr Osman said that he and his business partner had submitted a formal complaint to Dubai Police’s senior management, and would dispute the police account with the Public Prosecution.

wissa@thenational.ae