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CRIME

Group poisons coworker’s coffee

“Funny” colleagues went a little overboard when “watering down” their co-worker’s coffee with antifreeze at a restaurant, police in Radolfzell reported on Friday.

Group poisons coworker's coffee
Photo: DPA

The employees, two young women and a young man mixed the antifreeze in their 39-year-old colleague’s morning coffee, causing chemical burns in his nose and throat.

“It is a ghoulish joke gone wrong,” police officer Fritz Bezikofer told The Local on Friday. “It was just what we call Jux und Tollerei“, or good-natured fun, he added.

The younger staff members began a series of pranks in early November, thinning their coworker’s coffee with all kinds of “ingredients” such as cola, orange juice and “nose and throat slime.” During the course of the month stepped up the intensity of the pranks by urinating in the man’s thermos bottle, which he kept in a meeting area.

But their final trick has police in the German state of the Baden-Württemberg investigating them for poisoning and causing bodily harm to the man, who is now on sick leave after drinking the antifreeze.

Police however insist that the incident was not social mobbing. “They all got along great,” Bezikofer said. “He was away from work very often, and they used that to play pranks. They just went too far and the situation escalated,” he adds.

Police are also checking into whether coworkers contaminated food at the restaurant.

CRIME

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

A driver in Passau has been hit with a €5,000 fine because he was caught by traffic police giving the middle finger.

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

The district court of Passau sentenced the 53-year-old motorist to the fine after he was caught making the rude gesture in the direction of the speedometer last August on the A3 near the Donautal Ost service area, reported German media. 

The man was not caught speeding, however. According to traffic police who were in the speed camera vehicle at the time, another driver who had overtaken the 53-year-old was over the speed limit. 

When analysing the photo, the officers discovered the slower driver’s middle finger gesture and filed a criminal complaint.

The driver initially filed an objection against a penalty order, and the case dragged on for several months. However, he then accepted the complaint. He was sentenced to 50 ‘unit fines’ of €100 on two counts of insulting behaviour, amounting to €5,000.

READ ALSO: The German rules of the road that are hard to get your head around

In a letter to police, the man said he regretted the incident and apologised. 

Police said it was “not a petty offence”, and that the sentence could have been “even more drastic”.

People who give insults while driving can face a prison sentences of up to a year.

“Depending on the nature and manner of the incident or in the case of persons with a previous conviction, even a custodial sentence without parole may be considered for an insult,” police in Passau said. 

What does the law say?

Showing the middle finger to another road user in road traffic is an offence in Germany under Section 185 of the Criminal Code (StGB). It’s punishable by a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine.

People can file a complaint if someone shows them the middle finger in road traffic, but it usually only has a chance of success if witnesses can prove that it happened.

As well as the middle finger, it can also be an offence to verbally insult someone. 

READ ALSO: The German road signs that confuse foreigners

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