Hamm man threatens passersby with sword

A 25-year-old man in the western German town of Hamm was arrested Saturday after threatening a passerby with a sword, police reported.

Hamm man threatens passersby with sword
Samurai swords used in a sword attack in Berlin in 2008. Photo: DPA

The man waved the sword toward the head of a 24-year-old man who was passing by. The sword stopped just inches from the passerby’s head, while the man verbally threatened the passerby.

Witnesses identified the sword-wielding man and informed police. The man also had an axe standing next to the door of his apartment and the police also learned that he kept a fighting dog in his apartment.

The police sent a special commando unit to arrest the man. Two other men who were in the man’s apartment were also briefly detained before being released after authorities determined they had not been involved in the threats.

According to police, the 25-year-old was taken to a psychiatric clinic for examination.

Police found a collection of “chopping and stabbing weapons” in the man’s apartment, which they secured.

Saturday’s incident is the latest in a string of bizarre sword attacks in Germany. In June 2008, a drunken man attacked police with a samurai sword in Berlin, and in October of the same year, a retired man was arrested in Berlin after attacking a neighbour with a samurai sword.

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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