Hague mayor criticized by family of cop hurt in New Year's accident
The sister-in-law of Hague police officer Mario, who is still in critical condition after being hit by a car during New Year's, criticized mayor Jozias van Aartsen for calling it a "reasonable" celebration. "How can you speak of a reasonable New Year's while someone is fighting for his life?" she wrote on Facebook, according to Den Haag FM.
According to sister-in-law Wendy, Mario was working for the 4th New Year's in a row and had told his family that he was uneasy about the "moderate" deployment of police officers. She blames budget cuts for the lack of trained officers on the streets.
Wendy writes that Van Aartsen should have, instead of calling it a reasonable night, used Mario's accident for something good - to "come into action and cause movement in politics to revolt against cutbacks and deficits". "Mario's accident might have been impossible to prevent, but the fact is that the stress and work load were too high." she writes.
Mario was hit by a car on Kaasplein. According to the police, there is no evidence that this was done deliberately. The driver, a 27-year-old woman, was taken in for questioning and later released. She was not under the influence of alcohol and did not intend to hit the officer.
Soon after the accident there were reports that other police officers and paramedics who responded to help Mario were pelted with fireworks and stones. However, the police now report that this was not the case. Riot police officers some way away were pelted with fireworks and stones, but not those helping Mario.
Officer Mario was still in intensive care on Monday night. His current condition is unclear. Numerous people went by the police station on De Heestraat to leave flowers and express support for the seriously injured cop. A number of people, including PVV leader Geert Wilders, also expressed support and well wishes on social media.
But while the majority of responses were positive, there were also some hateful ones directed at the cop. Among the comments on the police's Facebook post about the incident, there were a number of responses that led the police to launch an investigation. If a crime was committed, steps will be taken, a police spokesperson said to the Gelderlander. The negative comments were removed.