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Bali Police Launch Investigations Into Public Knife Attacks

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Bali Police are investigating two separate knife attacks that have caused distress to the public this week. Police in Central Denpasar have launched an investigation into an armed robbery of a mini-mart on Tuesday 30th August. While police in North Kuta have launched an investigation into a man, believed to have mental health issues, who went on a ‘rampage’ with a knife in Kerobokan Kelod on Thursday, 1st September. 

Denpasar Police chased a man armed with a machete who raided a mini market on Tuesday morning on Teuku Umar Street, Dauh Puri Kelod Village. The robber is said to have fled the scene and dodged capture from the police. He was described as wearing all black and a black motorbike helmet. He fled the mini-mart, having stolen millions of Indonesian rupiah from the cash register. The police have reviewed CCTV footage from the store, and the investigation is ongoing. 

The Head of the Criminal Investigation Unit of the Denpasar Police, Kompol Mikael Hutabarat, confirmed that the armed robber had threatened to cut the throat of the mini-mart chaser Ni, Made Santa Safitri, 26. The theft bound Safitri’s hands together using a phone charging cable. The police report described how despite her fear, Safitri managed to escape from the shop and alert a nearby security guard.

Police have described the man who is still on the run. Kompol Mikael Hutabarat recounted Safitri’s recollection of her attacker to reporters. She said, ’His body is short. He immediately pointed a machete to my neck. At that time, the perpetrator said he knew me, but I didn’t know him, because he was wearing all black clothes’. 

Safitri told reporters that she had no idea who the attacker was. She shared how the thief acted alone but that he could have been waiting for her to open the shop. Safitri was in the process of setting up the shop for the day when the criminal entered the store at 6.37 am. She had not even had time to turn the lights on before he launched his attack.

On CCTV, he can be seen attacking Safitri from behind. He led her backward and tied her at the corner of the room. Although Safitri managed to escape the building, so did the attacker. Local people gathered at the scene to secure the building while they waited for police to arrive. Kompol Hutabarat said, ‘We are still investigating. Give us time. Let the members work in the field first’. 

In an unrelated incident in North Kuta, police apprehended a man who was wielding a knife in the street. Though there were no fatalities, one person sustained a non-life threatening stab wound. Information surrounding the incident is based on eye witness accounts. However, NusaBali reported that the attack happened in response to a moped collusion in Simpang Semer. 

Reports describe how a well-built man was driving while looking at his mobile phone and collided with a number of other motorcycle drivers while crossing an intersection. One of the men hit by the distracted driver went ‘berserk’ and started wielding a machete at the rider. Eyewitnesses described how the attacker looked as though he was in a trance. They shared how the attacker removed his shirt and screamed, ‘find the person who hit me’ while still brandishing his knife. 

Concerned citizens were able to immediately contact the North Kuta Police, who arrived on the scene quickly. They were able to de-escalate the situation and apprehend the attacker. Police also assisted with the traffic collision and arranged for those injured to be transported to the local medical clinic for assessment and treatment. The attacker is believed to be in the custody of Badung Police, and an investigation remains ongoing. 

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