Muppet caught speeding in Bavaria

Is there an "Animal" endangering the streets of Bavaria? Police traffic cameras recently captured a puppet speeding, but the culprit turned out to be a hot-footed British driver with a sense of humour.

Muppet caught speeding in Bavaria
Photo: Bayreuth police department

“It was funny when the photo came in for processing and it appeared that no one was at the wheel, but it was an English car, which means the driver’s seat is on the other side, so the camera didn’t catch the actual driver’s face,” the Bayreuth police spokesperson told The Local on Wednesday.

The jocular driver was on the A9 motorway speeding at 155 kph in a 120 zone, which earned him or her a €50 fine and three points for traffic violation at Germany’s central traffic register in Flensburg. It was the driver’s first violation in the area under Bayreuth police jurisdiction, but the perpetrator has apparently pulled the same stunt for several other Bavarian traffic radars, the spokesperson said.

A police statement initially announced that the man-sized puppet appeared to be either Grover or Ernie from the iconic children’s show Sesame Street, but The Local’s in-depth research revealed the puppet actually resembled Animal, the Muppet Show’s crazed drummer in the band Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem.

“That may well be,” the police spokesperson said. “We weren’t really sure, but we knew it was one of the muppets.”

The Bayreuth police department won’t pursue the true driver of the Audi because it had foreign plates, he said, but they have still asked for the public to report information regarding clues to the driver’s identity.


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.