Around Slovakia

HZDS rally falls flat
12 year-old dies from heroin overdose
Gunman in a restaurant
Potato field cleared
Aggressive deputy behind the wheel

HZDS rally falls flat

Less than a half the seats in a medium-sized hall in the Nové Mesto House of Culture were occupied at the August 3 campaign rally of the ruling HZDS movement. "The fewer we are, the more united we become," the rally speaker said to a disappointed Jozef Golonka, a former popular ice-hockey player, who is running for parliamentary on the HZDS candidates list.
"I'd rather play hockey and tennis, than sit here with you," Golonka told the devoted crowd, adding that he has been ordained by Mečiar to defend the needs of the younger generation in the future Parliament. "When he said that, I did not hesitate, not even for a miuute," Golonka confessed.
He may not have felt so warm towards some of the younger guests who had been invited to the rally by HZDS activists working the downtown core a few hours before the meeting began. "We were told we would get T-shirts, flashlights, badges," said eight-year-old Jozef from a nearby village. Up to twenty school kids who showed up at the rally were instructed when to applaud and when to be quiet, but right after they received their goody-bags, they jumped off their seats and ran away.

12 year-old dies from heroin overdose

On September 6, twelve year-old Ladislav K. was brought by his father to the healthcare center at Rovniankova street in Bratislava, showing symptoms of asphyxiation. Although he was given immediate first aid by the emergency staff, the boy died forty minutes after midnight. The coroner said that the boy had choked on his own vomit.
The next morning, the father showed up at the local police station with a small plastic bag containing "brown sugar." The father told the officers that his younger son, 11 years-old, had given him the bag confessing that both boys had smoked the heroin in the elevator the night before. The older also sniffed the drug, which resulted in his falling into a coma and later caused his death. The younger said the drug belonged to his brother, and that he did not know where he had got it from. The case is being investigated by Bratislava's Petržalka District Police Department.

Gunman in a restaurant

A 45-year-old inhabitant of Malacky lost his temper in a restaurant on Trnavská street in Bratislava on September 2. He became boisterous and vulgar to the staff and other guests. When he was asked to leave by a restaurant employee, the aggressor took out a gun and began threatening guests.
The man then thrust his weapon into the employee's ribs, but the quick-thinking waiter grabbed the gun from the man and pointed the pistol against the aggressor's forehead. The police, who had already been called to the restaurant, arrived to witness the curious scene and detained the immobilized assailant.

Potato field cleared

A farmer in Rozhanovce, near the eastern Slovakia city of Košice, received a surprise when he walked out on Monday morning to the three acre field where he had been growing potatoes. Over the August 29 - 30 weekend, the entire field had been picked clean of tubers.
The loot amounted to over 12.5 tons of potatoes, worth 75,000 Sk ($2,500). According to a local police statement, the thief must have used agricultural machinery to be able to dig up the entire field over two weekend nights.

Aggressive deputy behind the wheel

Víťazoslav Móric, a parliamentary deputy for the far right Slovak National Party, a member of the ruling coalition, caused a collision between his silver Volkswagen Passat and a Citroen driven by reporters from the opposition daily Sme on a motorway near Bratislava on September 8.
At a speed of 80 mph, Móric's vehicle struck the rear bumper of the Citroen, which had been driving in the fast lane, and pushed the slower car towards the guardrails. The journalists managed to escape the high-speed situation without injuries.
When they stopped their battered car by the guard rail, the furious deputy pulled up right beside them and shouted at the journalists, whom he had not recognized, that they had not pulled over to let him by. After the verbal attack, Móric geared up and drove away. The daily Sme reported the next day that an independent witness to the incident would be willing to testify against the hasty deputy.

Compiled by Ivan Remiaš from press reports

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