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CRIME

Ten-year-old pulls knife on police officers

A 10-year-old boy pulled a knife on federal police officers in the southern German town of Bad Bellingen on Wednesday after they tried to lecture him for making mischief near train tracks.

Ten-year-old pulls knife on police officers
A type of Einhandmesser, or one-handed knife. Photo: DPA

Two officers arrived at a section of train tracks in the area after an emergency call alerted local law enforcement that two young boys were playing near the rails early in the morning.

The railway was forced to halt trains scheduled in the heavily trafficked Baden-Württemberg town due to the boys’ shenanigans, police spokesperson Thomas Gerbert said in a statement.

When they saw the police cruiser, they fled into nearby vineyard, where they were pursued by the two officers, who found them shortly thereafter.

“One of the two boys reacted uncooperatively to the blue uniform of the federal police,” Gerbert said. “He ignored the lecture about the dangers of railway tracks, and instead pulled a knife.”

Officers subdued the boy and confiscated his weapon – a folding knife that can be opened with one hand known as an Einhandmesser in German – then paid a visit to his parents’ home.

Since April 1, 2008 it has been illegal to carry such knives with blades bigger than 12-centimetres in Germany and doing so can cause fines as high as €10,000.

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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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