Doctor only saw attacker briefly

Peep Talving on
Peep Talving on "Ringvaade". Source: ERR

Peep Talving, the chief doctor of the North Estonia Medical Center (PERH) who was the victim of an attack on Wednesday evening, said on Friday that he saw the face of the attacker only for a very brief moment.

The doctor said on the "Ringvaade" current affairs show on Friday evening that now that two days have passed since the attack, he feels excellent and has put the incident behind him. He is convinced that the police will catch the attacker even if this might take some time.

The attack took place when Talving had just sat in his car after work on Wednesday. 

"A finished work at 7 p.m., walked from the main entrance to the parking area. The car was parked on Retke Road, I got into the car. I was sitting inside the car, had started the engine, put on my seat belt. Suddenly a person who had approached from the left tore the door of the car open. I was anticipating a punch, but what came was a mass of liquid at body temperature. I estimated that a couple of liters was poured over my face and the whole body. At that moment I pulled the door towards myself, the attacker got his hand out of the car. His mission was over, he ran away," Talving said.

Talving said that his first fear was that the liquid was gasoline or an acid. 

"I washed my eyes with snow. I made photographs of the scene, found the canister that he had left behind, looked into the canister, there was some liquid left inside. I put the canister in a plastic bag, called 112," the doctor said.

Talving said that his second fear was that the urine poured over him might contain particles of the virus. Analyses conducted at PERH showed that this was not the case. 

Neither Talving nor the police can say at this point who might have carried out the attack.

"I know that they'll get to him, they are absolutely sure about it, but it may take a bit of time," he said.

Talving said that he saw the face of the attacker, but only for a fraction of a second.

The police on Thursday arrested Andrei Vesterinen, a 36-year-old lawyer and high-profile opponent of coronavirus related restrictions, as part of the investigation into the attack on Talving but released him on Friday following the conduct of procedural acts. The police said on Friday they are no longer viewing the 36-year-old as a suspect. 

The police are now seeking to identify a man wearing a yellow jacket in connection with the attack.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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