Police shoot businessman mistaken as a carjacker

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 March, 2006, 12:00am
 

Police admitted they shot at and wounded a business executive in Manila yesterday, after mistaking him for a carjacker.


Randolph Clarito, 46, was driving home from the stock exchange when he was fired on with automatic weapons. He found out later his assailants were the police.


'There was this real sniper hitting the back of my car going straight to the driver [seat]. They were really pro,' the shaken senior vice-president of pharmaceutical firm NutriPlus told a radio station.


He said his windshield and windows shattered, three tyres were blown out and blood poured from a head wound.


The hospital, however, said he sustained shrapnel wounds in one shoulder and knee.


Police spokesman Samuel Pagdilao said it was 'very unfortunate' Mr Clarito was mistaken for carjackers the police were chasing early yesterday.He promised an investigation and admitted police had committed a 'mistake of fact' when they mistook the businessman's silver Toyota for a similar model in which the wanted carjackers had fled.


Mr Clarito said he would not settle for an apology, although none was offered. 'It's not just sorry. They could be repeating this over and over again.'


Anti-crime group Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption said it would help the businessman pursue his case against the police. 'This thing has been happening again and again. It's high time they pay,' chairman Martin Dino said.


Last November, the police claimed they killed three carjackers in a stolen car during a shootout near the stock exchange.


But the slain suspects' families claimed it was an assassination after a video surfaced showing the police doing all the shooting. Each of the three dead men tested negative for powder burns, a sign that they had not fired back at police.


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