Royal Air Force servicemen training at a Croatian holiday hot spot have been slammed after they reportedly attacked a teenager and tried to snatch a young child from a garden while drunk.
According to local media, the servicemen are spending a week in the city of Zadar on the Dalmatian coast in south-western Croatia after taking part in the ‘Immediate Response 19’ multinational military exercise in the town of Udbina in western Croatia.
An unnamed cafe owner told local media: “During the day, they are more or less normal guests. They go for lunch, swim, rent boats for a tour of the islands or sit in the cafes and drink coffee. But at night they get wild.”
According to one cafe owner, local residents are afraid of the British servicemen who they say scare away clientele.
The Zadar police have received an official complaint from three 19-year-old men who were allegedly attacked by a group of drunk British soldiers.
Some witnesses also claimed that a Royal Air Force serviceman caused damage outside the city’s St. Mary’s Church.
According to Velibor Cubric, president of a community group in Petrcane about seven miles north of Zadar, four inebriated Brits entered the premises of a private home and tried to grab a three-year-old boy in the garden.
In that moment, the boy’s father reportedly attacked the Brit and he left with his colleagues.
However, local media said that the police have yet to receive a formal complaint about the alleged incident.
The owner of a well-known cafe where one British serviceman is believed to have let off a fire extinguisher said: “If I acted like that in England, I am sure they would beat me up and throw me in a cell.
“The guy who let off the extinguisher was stripped to the waist. When he emptied the apparatus, he fled from the cafe and we could not catch him.”
When asked by local media, spokeswoman for the Croatian Ministry of Defence Irena First could not confirm whether the 200 Royal Air Force personnel taking part in war games in Udbina are suspected of being involved in the alleged incidents in Zadar.
The British Embassy in the Croatian capital Zagreb said in a statement that the UK’s armed forces set “the highest standards of behaviour and expects its members to stick to those standards at all times”.
It continued: “We are aware of media reports that mention incidents from Zadar. In connection with this, an investigation is underway.”
Central European News (CEN) also contacted the British Embassy for comment, but have yet to receive a reply.
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