Police in Oslo are fending off complaints from the public after they charged two young men for violently halting the robbery of a 10-year-old boy last weekend. The two men are getting lots of support from the public for beating up the robbers and recovering the boy’s mobile phone.
The police maintain that the two rescuers, aged 30 and 17, used excessive force when they stepped in to save the boy from his assailants. He’d been sitting at a bus stop in Oslo’s Helsfyr district, checking his phone, when the two robbers, aged 18 and 24, snatched it and hit him. The two other men who witnessed the robbery then hit them repeatedly, to the point where police said “there were teeth lying on the ground.” One of the robbers fled while the other ended up being taken to a local hospital for emergency treatment.
News of the robbery and the fact that the two men reacting against it now face police charges, too, has set off a flood of complaints both to police and to local websites including aftenposten.no. “I think it was very unfair that the two men who helped the little boy were charged,” wrote one 11-year-old girl to Aftenposten. “Two grown men who rob a little boy deserve punishment, and it’s unfair that someone who tries to help the defenseless boy gets punished.”
“Yes, folks question that a man can be punished when he tries to defend someone,” Eva Sjøhold-Sandvik of the Oslo Police District told Aftenposten. “But there are many ways to help and we warn against using such violence.”