Court Hears How Busway Road Rage Shooting Just Missed Flaming Finale

The Jakarta Globe
Court Hears How Busway Road Rage Shooting Just Missed Flaming Finale

The TransJakarta driver whose bus was shot at in a case of road-rage in January testified on Monday that the alleged attacker had come close to blowing up the vehicle.

Taking the stand at the trial of Nico, also known as Siang Fuk, at the North Jakarta District Court, driver Muhammad Fitrianto said the defendant had fired four shots at the bus, narrowly missing its natural gas fuel tank at the back.

Fitrianto said the attack took place on Jalan Pluit Permai in North Jakarta. He said Nico, who was driving a red sedan, entered the busway lane behind his bus and appeared to be in a hurry.

“The incident occurred when I was pulling up to the Pluit shelter to pick up passengers,” he said.

“There were two buses in front of me and while I was waiting my turn, there was a red sedan [behind me] that kept honking its horn,” he added. “But I didn’t respond because I couldn’t do anything. There were two buses in front of me.”

He said he then heard three gunshots, “but I didn’t know where they came from or where they were aimed at.”

Fitrianto said the driver of the sedan then got out of his car and approached his window.

“He knocked on my door with something that looked like a wallet with some kind of badge,” he said. 

“I wasn’t sure what kind of badge it was, but it sounded like steel knocking against my door. Because I was stuck in the traffic and he was driving in the busway lane, I signaled for him to wait.

“Then he went back to his car and drove past and fired a shot at the left-hand side of the bus.”

Fitrianto said he was unaware that one of the earlier shots had only just missed the bus’s fuel tank.

“I only found out that there was a hole by the tank when I was about to fill up with fuel,” he told the court. “It was fortunate that he missed the tank, otherwise he could have blown the bus up.”

Jembar, a TransJakarta official who also testified at the trial, said Fitrianto reported the incident the next day and they filed a complaint with the Penjaringan Police.

Police later arrested Nico at his home in the upscale Pantai Indah Kapuk area of North Jakarta, where they said they seized the gun and uncovered a massive narcotics operation.

Second Insp. Lukman, who was part of the team that handled the case, told the court that police only expected to find the gun used in the attack.

“He gave that to us straight away, but then when we looked around, we found a room that was locked,” he said. “So we asked him to open it, and inside we found a safe. Inside the safe there was a bag containing large amounts of drugs.”

Police also made a further grisly discovery — tied and gagged in the room were two men, allegedly drug runners working for Nico. The men, who appeared to have been tortured, were allegedly being punished for failing to hand over Rp 50 million ($5,850) to Nico. 

Monday’s trial did not deal with the alleged torture.

Police said they retrieved more than 16,000 psychotropic pills, including ecstasy, and a kilogram of crystal methamphetamine in the surprise bust.

Nico did not object to any of the witness statements made on Monday. He stands accused of criminal assault, illegal possession of a firearm and trafficking of narcotics. The charges carry a maximum sentence of death.

The trial has been adjourned to Monday.

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