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CRIME

Drunk in wheelchair leads police on high-speed chase

One policeman was injured after the intoxicated driver of a motorised wheelchair led officers on a high-speed chase through Bielefeld on Tuesday night.

Drunk in wheelchair leads police on high-speed chase
Photo: DPA

The 44-year-old is known to Bielefeld police as the “serial drunk wheelchair driver,” police spokesman Martin Schulz told The Local.

“The patrol car saw him driving down the street and decided to see how he was doing that day, and that’s when the chase began,” he said

When the wheelchair driver saw police pull up next to him, he turned sharply and sped down the sidewalk. One officer in the patrol car got out and started to pursue him by foot. He managed to catch up to the wheelchair but stumbled when the man sped up to the wheelchair’s maximum speed, 25 kilometres per hour.

According to Schulz, the fall caused a few scrapes and bruises, as well as a few laughs among the officer’s colleagues.

The two officers in his pursuit finally caught up with the drunk at his home, where he went with them to the station for a blood alcohol test peacefully.

“It was obvious that the man had had too much to drink when police finally caught up to him at home,” Schulz said.

Results of the alcohol test are not back yet, but Schulz said the man admitted he had had a few to drink that day. After being tested, the man was allowed to go back home but ordered to stay off his wheelchair.

“Thank God it’s only a wheelchair he drives when he’s drunk,” Schulz said.

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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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