Students riot outside Larnaca police station

January 23
AROUND 100 students yesterday bombarded Larnaca Traffic Police department with stones, firecrackers and eggs in protest at the circumstances of the fatal motorbike accident of their 16-year-old fellow student last month.
The reason for yesterday’s protest was a broadcast on private television station Sigma during which Demetris Theakou, the father of the dead student Vasilis Theakou, retracted statements he made immediately after his son’s death absolving the police from responsibility.
Vasilis Theakou was killed on December 4 when he apparently lost control of his moped on Alexander Panagouli Avenue in the coastal town. The pupil from the local Technical School was catapulted off his seat and hit an electricity pole. He had not been wearing a helmet and did not have a licence. His schoolmates claimed that Vasilis was being chased by police just before the crash but the teen’s father publicly backed the police version and said his son should not have been driving without a licence.
He made the conciliatory statement after 300 students tried to storm Larnaca police traffic department five days after Vasilis’ death. The accident is currently being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
However two nights ago he told Sigma television that he fully retracted his earlier statement about what he thought had happened. The news spread like wildfire among Vasilis’ friends and they organised a demonstration.
Yesterday the angered pupils, mainly from the Technical School in Larnaca, where Vasilis had been a student, tried to throw the gate of the fence in the city’s Traffic and threw eggs and firecrackers, stones and bottles with water cannons and police cars that were in the grounds of Police.
Some of the students worse black T-shirts with a photo of the dead teen, which read ‘Bon Voyage Brother Vasilis’.
Riot police who had been dispatched to the scene earlier in the morning were authorised to break up the demonstration. The minute they appeared the students ran off, reports said.
Police received information on Thursday that the students were planning the demo and were organising it via SMS messages.
Larnaca deputy chief Christakis Papadopoulos said it was time “some people took responsibility so that their actions don’t provoke youngsters into creating these problems”.
Papadopoulos also called on parents to undertake responsibility and to urge their children not to partake in such activities.
During the fracas an officer was injured on the leg after he was hit by three stones. He was taken to hospital where he received first aid and went home.
Following the incident police started making a recording of the damage to cars and the office windows.

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