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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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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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