The 45-year-old convict briefly held the woman in a building near the prison in the city of Marl near the Ruhr Valley, according to police. But he eventually released his hostage - a woman living in an adjacent managed living facility - after his doctor convinced him to give up. Besides hoping to avoid being put in a prison with heavier security, the prisoner demanded five bottles of beer.
The police surrounded the prison with a special commando team, but the man gave up without a fight. "He threw his knife away. Both the perpetrator and his victim are unharmed," a police spokesman told the website of daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.