Fast cars, big guns - a day in the life of Oscar

2014-03-11 19:17
(Herman Verwey, AFP)

(Herman Verwey, AFP)

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Pretoria - If you wondered how it is that a gun could accidentally go off in a bustling restaurant, then nothing happen to the people responsible, you are not alone.

But this is turning out to be just one incident in a series of bizarre and inexplicable incidents involving the disgraced athlete Oscar Pistorius.

On trial for the murder of his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day last year, details are emerging of a life of guns, breaking of rules and failure to give due regard to consequences.

Darren Fresco is one of Pistorius’s friends who was involved in two of these incidents.

He was there when Pistorius fired through the sunroof of a car, and he was the person who handed the gun over that went off inside Tasha’s in Melrose Arch.

From the very outset, he was given protection by the court: In exchange for telling the truth, he would not be prosecuted for any details he revealed about the incidents.

Of the sunroof incident, unlike Samantha Taylor’s version, Fresco claims that Pistorius set off the gun without warning him.

“Are you fucking mad,” he says he retorted in the moment. He revealed more details of that incident: Apparently they were stopped twice in that trip, once for missing number plates and another time for driving at 260km/h.

The police then questioned Fresco, who was driving, and then moved on to Pistorius when he came to see what was taking so long.

That’s when they saw one of his guns on the car seat. A police officer touched it to empty it, and set off rage in the athlete.

He told the cop he was now liable for anything that happened, because his fingerprints were on the gun.

Really? You can say that to a police officer and get away with it?

‘Shooting a robot’

Then some metro cops came along and said that they had been chasing the car since they saw it some time back at a tollgate.

They too apparently failed to make an arrest. Gareth Cliff, the 5fm DJ once spent a night in jail for being caught driving at 182km/h.

Fresco denies that he and Pistorius goaded each other with talks of “shooting a robot” in order to annoy the police, though this would prove to not be the only time his memory would escape him.

When he, Pistorius and Martyn Rooney were at Tasha’s, he heard Pistorius ask for his gun.

It is a .270 Glock pistol with a hair trigger instead of the hammer and safety mechanism of other such guns.

He too says that he told the athlete that he was “one up”, or had a bullet in the chamber. Without seeing what was going on under the table, he heard the shot go off.

“I thought he was competent. We had been to the shooting range before and I know he had a big love for guns,” Fresco said.

He too then spoke of Pistorius’s fear that if it got out that he had set off a gun in a crowded restaurant it wouldn’t be good, and decided to accept the culpability on behalf of his friend. The athlete settled the bill, and his friend took the blame.

Accidental shooting

According to Fresco, he initially tried to make the restaurant shooting “go away” by not saying anything at all.

He hoped that the rest of the patrons would think it was just a “gas explosion or something” because they were sitting right next to the kitchen.

Even after the restaurant manager and his wife came over to inspect the source of the noise and were told about the accidental gunshot, nothing came of it. No arrest, no report to the police. Nothing.

But in so many crucial areas, Fresco no longer remembers what happened. He doesn’t remember who paid the fines for the cars, though he thinks it was the dealership owner Justin Devaris.

He doesn’t really remember – or want to remember – what was said in Tasha’s about the lie to be told.

And he also couldn’t explain to the court why he omitted, in his first statement given to the police, to mention the fact that he agreed to lie for his friend. (One imagines that friendship is now over.)

But these are the kind of people who surrounded Pistorius.

Fresco’s Twitter profile reads: “If it's got wheels or a skirt, it's gonna cost you money.”

Some of his social media pages are peppered with images of guns, and all he seems to talk about is cars.

 But obviously that’s his privilege.

Pistorius lived dangerously, and believed he could act recklessly, with impunity.

When things got really heated, he made his friends take the blame for him. What is sad is that the clean-cut image that the country had of Pistorius was so wrong.

- News24

Read more on:    oscar pistorius  |  pistorius trial  |  crime
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