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CRIME

Train surfing youths cause railway chaos

Police on Friday said two reckless teenagers caused railway havoc east of Stuttgart by “surfing” on a train travelling 80 kilometres an hour.

Train surfing youths cause railway chaos
Not the train in question. Photo: DPA

The two teens – estimated to be between 13 and 15 years old – climbed onto the back of a regional train in Ebersbach near Göppingen on Thursday afternoon, federal police spokesman Michael Glöckler told The Local.

“They put themselves in extreme danger by surfing on the train like that,” he said.

After the teens were spotted hanging onto the outside of the carriage by the driver of a passing freight train, the engineer of their train made an emergency stop. The two train surfers fled, but the route was closed completely for 45 minutes, which caused several hours of delays.

“We had to make sure they weren’t still on the tracks,” said Glöckler, adding that most incidents of so-called train surfing happened in larger cities in Germany. “It used to be pretty widespread.”

The police are now investigating the incident for dangerous interference in railway traffic.

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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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