Jakarta Police reenact the making of a fight video on Jalan Thamrin in Central Jakarta on Wednesday. (Antara Photo)

You've Been Pranked: Police Step In as Street Fight Video Turns Out to Be Fake


FEBRUARY 19, 2020

Jakarta. A street fight video set on Jakarta's busiest business strip Jalan Thamrin that went viral on social media was fake, police said on Wednesday.

The man who directed the fight has been arrested for paying four three-wheel bajaj drivers to perform the fight at a zebra crossing near Sarinah Mall on Tuesday. 

Police said the 25-year-old is a lecturer at a Jakarta university, identified by his initial F.

Police also arrested his student and a 21-year-old cameraman identified as Y.I.

"We initially arrested four men involved in the fight. We found out later that the four bajaj drivers were paid Rp 500,000 [$37] to perform the fight," Central Jakarta Police chief Senior Comr. Heru Novianto said.

"From that information, we went after the real perpetrators," he said.

The four bajaj drivers – Suwarto, Didi, Bambang and Abdul – were immediately released. They admitted to receiving payment from the suspect.

"Yes, we were paid. We were having lunch when he came to us and offered money if we agreed to perform a fight for a video. We're just 'little people' [orang kecil] so we took the money," one of the drivers said.

Police questioned them as witnesses in the case.

F., the suspect, said he made the video to "educate people" and gain more followers on Instagram.

"I wanted to make a video about self-defense to educate people. I never expected it would create a disturbance," he said.

He said he chose Jalan Thamrin to shoot the scene to get a bigger audience and more publicity.

He and the cameraman are charged for inciting public uproar and face a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail if convicted.