Perth man accused of assaulting Balinese taxi driver in attempt to steal phone

A young man from Perth arrested in Bali for the alleged assault on a taxi driver tried to hide in the warehouse on the third floor of a convenience store, but was later found by police.

As revealed by 9News, Tore Gerard Vincenzo Bempasciuto was arrested in the early hours of yesterday morning, accused of hitting Saiful Nurokhim on the ground because he looked like someone who thought he had stolen his mobile phone.

Police say the 23-year-old was angry when he approached the driver around 4 a.m. (local time) at a taxi rank, outside the Kuta ‘Lxxy’ nightclub, and snatched his Samsung mobile phone.

Mr. Nurokhim, 43, allegedly chased Bempasciuto, who then hit him on the ground, before Perth’s friend also threw punches while the driver remained on the trail.

The police report, obtained by 9News, said Perth’s mechanical installer “crashed the victim’s cell phone” and then hit a local man who tried to intervene.

He said the defendant slipped on wet concrete while fleeing before he and his friend tried to hide in the warehouse above an Indomaret store, but were soon arrested by police.

Bempasciuto allegedly told the officers that his cell phone disappeared while he was partying at the ‘Bounty’ nightclub and thought that Mr. Nurokhim looked like someone who had been following him.

The taxi driver had a bloody nose, bleeding from his mouth and pain in the back of his head when he touched the ground.

Bempasciuto’s friend has not been arrested, but police say he captured security images of the alleged attack and interviewed witnesses.

He is being held at the Kuta police station and faces up to two years and eight months in a Bali prison unless he compensates his alleged victim, which could pave the way to dodge a court case.

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