A 52-year-old man could face up to five years prison after firing a gas pistol at a BKV ticket inspector, who suffered light injuries on Tuesday. The incident followed an argument between the man and four inspectors, three of them women.
After the gun was pulled the male inspector used a pepper spray, whereupon the gun was fired. Legislation allows anybody – regardless of prior offences – to purchase gas-alarm guns. While carrying the weapon is not a given right, the acquisition of a permit – albeit lengthy – is only linked to a clean criminal record. Police are investigating whether the attacker had such a permit or if the controller had the right to use the gas spray.
Though the use of a potentially deadly weapon is rare, attacks on the much-disliked ticket inspectors are not uncommon. In June a woman got into an argument and pushed a controller down the stairs of a bus. A month later a man ran into the BKV office at Lehel tér (square) and hit an inspector in the mouth, causing minor injuries, because his wife had been caught and penalised for travelling without a ticket a few minutes before. In August a man knocked over a female inspector, causing head injuries, leading to her hospitalisation.
Sometimes, though, inspectors fight back: on Saturday a young woman was pushed around and knocked to the wall by a controller of significant size in the subway. Unfortunately for him a fellow traveller recorded the events, which quickly appeared on the evening news of TV2. Budapest Transportation Centre has launched an investigation.
A driver who allegedly killed a police motorcycle patroller while speeding in a Hummer in Csongrád county last week was under the influence of illegal drugs, police asserted at the weekend. The suspect, an Austrian in a group of four Hummers who were said by police to be speeding, suffered serious but not critical injuries after three other officers fired shots to stop him. He is being held under police guard at Tököl prison hospital. Central Investigative Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Géza Fazekas said a guilty verdict could mean 10 to 20 years behind bars or even life imprisonment. The police motorcyclist, a 34-year-old who overtook the driver to make him stop, died on the way to hospital after the Hummer allegedly ran over him. He was posthumously promoted to lieutenant.