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CRIME

Police arrest German pensioner for pushing girl into train

Police in Munich have arrested a German pensioner for shoving a young girl against an incoming train at an underground station this week in an incident captured by surveillance cameras.

Police arrest German pensioner for pushing girl into train
Photo: DPA

Police caught the 69-year-old after the man’s former neighbour recognised his image published by investigators on the website of a Munich newspaper.

A police spokesman said the victim, a 13-year-old Greek student, was “extremely lucky” to have only sustained bruises. The Munich state prosecutor is treating the incident as an attempt to murder because the girl was in danger of dying when she was pushed. Police have issued an arrest warrant against the Munich resident who has admitted to shoving the girl.

The incident took place on Monday this week. Prosecutors say the 13-year-old was part of a group of teenagers who stood close to the pensioner on the platform as they waited for the train. According to the pensioner’s version, the man felt crowded and pushed the girl to make more room for himself. Investigators however say the footage from surveillance cameras did not support the man’s statement.

The girl was shoved against the sharp edge of a compartment as the train rolled into the station, remained suspended between two compartments for an instant, and was then thrown back on the platform.

According to the girl’s statement, the German pensioner called out, “It’s your fault,” as she lay on the ground. The German man however denied it during his interrogation and said he was glad that the student was doing well, the state prosecutor’s office said.

Investigators have ruled out a xenophobic motive behind the crime and are questioning the man’s wife, who was present during the incident.

CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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