Romanian police officers abused their power in Székelyudvarhely (Odorheiu Secuiesc) – Ferenc Bartalis, the former owner of a local car wash, says. He wrote his story on Facebook and published a video about what happened for which the police is now investigating. He states that one of the police officers said that he should speak in Romanian since he lives in Romania and gave the owner a 2,000 EUR fine because of which he had to leave the country to work abroad.
According to maszol.ro, the 46-year-old Ferenc Bartalis started his car wash in 2006 in Székelyudvarhely (Hargita county). However, because of the curfew implemented by the Romanian authorities, after the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic, they did not have work for weeks. Therefore, all their reserves melted shortly.
Mr Bartalis kept his car wash open even during the epidemic since one or two cars per day showed up even then. That was not enough to have a profit but allowed him and his employees, at least, to buy food. One day, two police officers showed up and wanted to check the documents of his employees. Mr Bartalis gave the documents to the officers. After that, one of them started to complain and asked his two employees why the documents are not filled out correctly. Since she was talking in Romanian none of them understood her, so the officer changed to Hungarian. Hereafter Mr Bartalis jokingly said that she should have started with that language if she speaks it. And
this was the point when all hell broke loose.
The other officer shouted at him that since they live in Romania, they should speak Romanian. Mr Bartalis said that they would not like to continue their talk and asked them to leave. They did so but returned shortly with three cars to conduct a financial audit. They checked everything and finally imposed a 2,000 EUR fine because he did not have a sign in his car wash warning about the importance of distance keeping.
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Therefore, he had to leave Romania, and now he is working abroad. He took a video about what the police did and posted it on Facebook where he wrote his version of the story explained above. He got hundreds of comments,
even vulgar ones so he later deleted it.
However, local police started to investigate the issue because of insulting a public official and hate crime. They are summoning people who wrote comments under the video, and they wanted to ask questions even from Mr Bartalis, who was summoned as a witness.
The spokesman of the Hargita county police, Gheorghe Filip, denied Mr Bartalis’s version of the story highlighting that none of the police officers said that they should speak Romanian in Romania. Furthermore, he added that
both officers were Hungarian.