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CRIME

Bystanders did nothing to stop S-Bahn murder

Some 15 people stood by without intervening at the Munich S-Bahn station where two teenagers beat a 50-year-old man to death over the weekend, police said on Wednesday.

Bystanders did nothing to stop S-Bahn murder
Photo: DPA

Their report confirmed what a 16-year-old French exchange student who witnessed the brutal crime at the Solln station told daily Bild.

“As I came up to the train platform, the two were already beating on the man, kicking him with their feet. About 15 people were standing around not doing anything,” the student told the paper, adding that he saw the event peripherally and didn’t realise how severe it was until he saw the man fall to the ground.

“At some point the man collapsed and hit the back of his head against the guard rails in the process,” he told the paper.

According to news agency DPA, public prosecutors are investigating whether witnesses could have prevented the man’s death, which has made national headlines since it occurred on Saturday afternoon.

A 17 and 18-year-old have been accused of murder for beating businessman Dominik B. at the stop after he tried to protect a group of four youths who were being bullied by the two teens on a train,

Police said that the young men had been threatening and demanding money from a group of younger teenagers at an S-Bahn station before following them onto a train, where Dominik B. intervened.

He called police on his mobile phone and offered to leave the train with the children to make sure they were safe.

As they left the train at the Solln train station, Markus S. and Sebastian L. followed the man and attacked him. They hit and kicked Dominik S. some 22 times within just a few minutes. The children who had exited the train with the man attempted to stop the attackers unsuccessfully, according to state prosecutors. He died of his injuries in a nearby hospital a few hours later.

Police said Monday they had arrested a third suspect, 17-year-old Christoph T., for allegedly initiating threats against the group of children after they refused to give the older teens €15. He is accused of extortion. Witnesses also reported seeing him hit the group of children twice. The teen allegedly boarded a different train while his friends followed the younger children onto another – where they encountered their middle-aged victim.

All three of the teens in police custody have reportedly had brushes with the law in the past due to theft, assault and extortion. Two of the accused also reportedly suffer from substance addiction.

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OKTOBERFEST

IN PICTURES: First weekend of Munich’s Oktoberfest sees around 700,000 visitors

Around 700,000 people braved the wet and cold weather to attend the first weekend of the Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, according to estimates by festival management.

IN PICTURES: First weekend of Munich's Oktoberfest sees around 700,000 visitors

That is significantly less than the around one million visitors seen in 2019, the last time the festival took place as the 2020 and 2021 editions were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

READ ALSO: Germany’s famed Oktoberfest opens after two-year pandemic hiatus

“We want the weather gods to remember what decent Wies’n [Oktoberfest] weather looks like,” festival head and CSU politician Clemens Baumgärtner said, German news agency DPA reported.

Man and woman in lederhosen at Oktoberfest

A man and a woman in traditional Lederhosen and Dirndl dresses arrive for the opening of the Oktoberfest beer festival at the Theresienwiese in Munich on September 17, 2022.  (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

The festival opened on Saturday and the first guests were already queuing outside the entrances before sunrise to secure their spot at the front of a beer tent when the site was opened. The first tents closed their doors around noon.

Oktoberfest costume parade

Participants of the traditional costume parade of the Oktoberfest beer festival arrive on September 18, 2022.  (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

But the Schottenhamel tent (the oldest at the Oktoberfest) spokesperson, Christian Schottenhamel, said the numbers of people visiting the tents this year were similar to that seen in 2019, DPA said.

Oktoberfest costume parade

Participants dressed as fools perform during the festival’s traditional costume parade on September 18, 2022. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

He reported that the atmosphere was euphoric, with people just happy to be celebrating Oktoberfest again.

Oktoberfest beer tent visitors

The first visitors arrive and reserve places in a beer tent during the opening of the festival on September 17, 2022. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

The festival has attracted a mixed audience so far, including families with children and visitors from abroad, such as from the United States and France.

But the spokesperson for the smaller tents, Otto Lindinger, said the audience was getting younger, noting strong demand for meat-free dishes, although the Oktoberfest chicken was said to still be a hit.

Visitors celebrate at Oktoberfest

Visitors jostle for a Maß in a beer tent at the Oktoberfest on September 17, 2022. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

Over on the south side of the festival area, head of the museum tent Yvonne Heckl described the atmosphere in the traditional ‘Oide Wies’n’, or old Oktoberfest, area as “chilled and calm”.

The festival lasts until October 3rd, as German Unity Day falls on the Monday after the last Oktoberfest Sunday.

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