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CRIME

Horde of ‘Vikings’ attacks home in Bavaria, injuring four

Police are calling for witnesses on Wednesday after a horde of people dressed as Vikings attacked a family home in Bavaria, injuring a woman and three children, a spokesperson told The Local.

Horde of 'Vikings' attacks home in Bavaria, injuring four
File photo of a Viking battle re-enactment. Photo: DPA

As festivities for the Karneval holiday of Rosenmontag were underway in the small community of Kleinrinderfeld on Monday evening, about 20 costumed Vikings battered down an apartment door and descended upon the family inside, Würzburg county police spokesman Karl-Heinz Schmitt said.

The four people – a mother, her two sons and daughter – were reportedly not its regular residents, but rather simply staying at a friend’s home when the attack occurred.

“We can’t say exactly what happened in this apartment, but there is evidence that the family was attacked with real violence,” Schmitt said. “They were all injured, but in the hospital these wounds were luckily found to be much less severe than first thought – just cuts and bruises.”

The Vikings, who had reduced the apartment door to splinters, vanished after the attack, leaving only a broken wooden sword behind. Though police have questioned numerous revellers out celebrating that night, their efforts were thwarted because the local parade theme was “Vikings,” which meant there were hundreds of people dressed as rampaging Norse warriors in the town.

While some reports have said the attack may have been an act of revenge in a personal dispute, Schmitt said police are still unsure what motivated the violence, which also included the theft of a computer and stereo.

If found, people involved in the attack could face charges of breaching the public peace and assault, police said, asking that anyone who saw suspicious activity around 7 pm on Monday file a report.

“We know for sure that there were a great many people dressed as Vikings at the festivities and our task now is to pluck those responsible for this crime from that group,” Schmitt said, adding that police have formed a six-person team to continue the investigation.

Rosenmontag is the traditional high point of Germany’s alcohol-fuelled Karneval festivities. On this day people dress up in costumes and stage elaborate parades to celebrate on crowded streets.

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CRIME

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

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