Cops free on grounds of cowardice

Two municipal policemen arrested for refusing to help an Athens mugging victim catch his assailants were set free yesterday after arguing that they had been afraid the muggers might be armed. Maroussi municipal policemen Ilias Sgourakis, 25, and Constantinos Kapsalis, 24, were arrested on Wednesday in the northern Athens suburb’s Kastalias Square by Greek Police officers summoned by Theodoros Karasavvas, who had had his jacket and bag stolen by four youths. Karasavvas, 24, gave chase, and, coming upon Sgourakis and Kapsalis, begged for their assistance. When they declined, he called the regular police on his mobile phone. Along with Sgourakis and Kapsalis, officers arrested Dimitris Alafoyiannis, 18, for participation in the attack. Yesterday an Athens prosecutor dropped charges against the municipal policemen – who are unarmed – after they claimed to have been cowed by the prospect of pursuing potentially armed criminals. 

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