• Germany edition
 
Armed SWAT unit storm wrong flat
Photo: DPA

Armed SWAT unit storm wrong flat

Published: 28 Oct 2012 10:10 GMT+01:00
Updated: 28 Oct 2012 10:10 GMT+01:00

Three law-abiding tenants at a flat in Rollhausen, near Göttingen, Lower Saxony thought they were being burgled when a SWAT police unit forced their way into their flat in the early morning hours of Friday morning.

The masked officers burst into the couple's bedroom and pointed their guns at them, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Saturday.

“They tied me up with cable binders,” a male resident told NDR broadcaster, “I cried out in pain.”

Only then did the unit - who had been searching for a 45-year old man who had earlier threatened another man with a weapon - ask for the startled tenant's name.

When it quickly became clear they had made an error, the policemen apologized to the couple and left. Later it emerged the unit had got the wrong floor of the block of flats, with police explaining there had been a mix up in communication.

“The SWAT unit got the wrong flat. We were thwarted by an error in internal communication. We have already apologized,” Otto Moneke, head of the police department in Duderstadt told NDR.

Although police will repair damage caused when they broke in, a woman and her 19-year-old daughter – both of whom are now in therapy - say they were traumatized by the incident and have contracted a lawyer to explore their case for further compensation from the authorities.

DPA/The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

11:45 October 28, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Did they train at the same academy as the bomb disposal experts who made a controlled detonation with straw?
13:11 October 28, 2012 by pepsionice
The thing is....German courts typically limit the damage payment in cases like this. The mother and daughter might each get 100k Euro, but that's about all they could get. Both, however, could turn around and show the damage done to their mental state, and demand a full pension for the rest of their lives. I admit it won't amount to a huge amount of money, but that's the best you could get out of this deal.

The judge who gave the search warrant? He ought to be forced to go with the cops each time from this point on out.
15:27 October 28, 2012 by lucksi
100k? In Germany? BWAHAHAHA, never.

But hey, they got released a hell of a lot faster than when US SWAT raids the wrong house. And nobody got shot, not even some dogs.
22:57 October 28, 2012 by bobmarchiano
searching for a 45-year old man who had earlier threatened another man with a weapon

all you need to do is threaten someone and a swat team comes after you sounds like there is more to the story.

Damages YA good luck with that they said they were sorry
23:25 October 28, 2012 by Ruhetag
Simply saying "Sorry" in Germany will reverse all damages.

So no need to sue anyone.
09:39 October 29, 2012 by wood artist
Heck. In the US you'd have to sue just to get an apology, and then if the police accepted any responsibility, they'd send a carpenter around who would drive a couple nails into what's left of the door and call it even.

It's almost funny how a "terrorist attack" like this is just a "simple mistake" and shouldn't be considered a Big Deal by the victims. If it's a crime when committed by a civilian, it's just as much a crime when committed by authorities. It's not "just a mistake."

wa
10:17 October 29, 2012 by JDee
the first floor, that would be the e.g., the 2nd floor, that is 1.OG, the 3rd floor... that's the D.G and the 4th floor that the Obere DG.. etc.. well from my experience of trying to understand German conventions on these things ( and the left/right designations which are also mixed up in my house ) it is no surprise, better just to just rationalise the system, 1st floor = 1 etc...
15:26 October 30, 2012 by LecteurX
@ JDee. It's not just "German conventions", it's actually the whole of Europe (even the UK) that agrees on this. Maybe the only thing that unites the whole continent, come to think of it.

In the UK, they have a "ground floor" and then anything above it is "1st floor", "2nd floor", etc. This is exactly the same thing in Germany, France, Spain, etc. Only the hotels where I have been in Sweden seem to follow the American rule, strangely, although they have a word in Swedish for "ground floor". So why do you need to "rationalise" (understand, "Americanise") something that works well for around 500 million people around the whole continent?

Then I think you got a little bit mixed up with the DG and all that. DG just means "Dachgeschoss", ie the top-floor (literally, "roof-floor"). It's the top floor of any building, no matter how many storeys high. "Oberes DG", if there were such a thing, would just be the roof I guess :-)
Today's headlines
Berlin slams Italy Nazi claims court ruling
Italy's National Partisans' Association welcomed the court decision. Photo: DPA

Berlin slams Italy Nazi claims court ruling

Italy's constitutional court has ruled that victims of Nazi-era war crimes can sue Germany in Italian courts, rejecting a UN ruling and provoking a strong reaction from Berlin on Friday. READ  

Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall
Photo: Paul Sullivan

Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall

Two expats who walked the Mauerweg - the 160-kilometre trail that runs the length of the former Berlin Wall - have written a book about forgotten aspects of its past and present. READ  

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat
Photo: DPA

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat

Germany's biggest department store chain Karstadt will close at least six stores, putting around 2,000 jobs at risk, in a drastic bid by its new boss to return it to profit. READ  

Quiz
How well do you know Germany?
Photos: DPA/Shutterstock

How well do you know Germany?

Do you know your Saxony facts from your Saxony-Anhalt ones? Test your knowledge of Germany's federal states in The Local's quiz. READ  

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal
Pollution from a coal-fired power station in Frimmersdorf, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal

The UN's climate chief hailed a European agreement in Bonn on greenhouse gases on Friday as providing "valuable momentum" for a world pact to be inked in Paris next year. READ  

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth
Photo: DPA

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth

Germany will get an early Christmas present of around €779 million from the EU, thanks to weaker than expected GDP growth. READ  

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told
Photo: DPA

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told

It will take several days to find out what caused a massive explosion on Thursday which rocked a town on the Rhine, killing a builder and injuring 26 others. READ  

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'
An NH90 helicopter. Photo: DPA

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'

Germany's fleet of NH90 helicopters is undergoing engineering checks after one of them suffered a serious engine failure, in the latest blow to the country's military capabilities. READ  

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m
Rainer Schwarz at a court hearing in September into the case. Photo: DPA

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m

The man who was blamed for Berlin's miserable attempt to build a new airport must be paid more than €1 million - after being fired. READ  

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Kurds watching the attack on Kobane. Photo: DPA

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pressed UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon to bring possible poison gas use by Isis in Iraq before the Security Council. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Politics
Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: Huge explosion rocks Ludwigshafen
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
Which high school cliche is your German city?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Storm hits southern Germany
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,525
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd