Drinks wagon fight led to fatal Rostock beating

Police said on Friday that the man who was beaten to death in Rostock on Thursday was killed in a senseless argument over whose drinks wagon was better-looking.

Drinks wagon fight led to fatal Rostock beating
Photo: DPA

The 45-year-old man had been part of a group which had become embroiled in a fight with another group during Thursday’s holiday known as Herren Tag, or Men’s Day. The day off is often used as an excuse for groups of male friends to stagger around drinking as much as they can, towing their booze behind them in a little wagon.

One of the two groups which confronted each other in Rostock was carrying drinks in a supermarket trolley while the other had a handcart. The men had become involved in an argument and then a fist fight about which was better, said Klaus Müller, state prosecutor in Rostock, at a press conference on Friday.

The fighting was actually over when one of the drunken men delivered another hit to the 45-year-old, causing him to hit his head against a train, said Müller.

“The fight is clear to see on the video,” he said, referring to the security video recovered from the Warnemünde local train station’s cameras.

Three men aged 23, 24 and 29 fled the scene and hid in a shop nearby before being arrested just a few hours later. They were so drunk at the time that they could only be questioned on Friday once they had sobered up.

Two more men from that group are being sought by officers investigating the man’s death.

The dead man, who has not yet been identified, was initially resuscitated and was thought to be out of danger.

But during the trip to hospital the man’s condition suddenly and dramatically worsened so much that he died by the time he got there.

The German police union (DPolG) called for a more consistent approach to violent, often drunk criminals. Judges pull back from imposing the harshest sentences on those who can say they were very drunk when attacking someone, said the union’s deputy chairman Joachim Lenders.

“A changed social awareness is necessary,” DPolG chairman Rainer Wendt said on television station n-tv. “Whoever, through such violent actions risks the life of another, or ignores the danger of that risk, must realise that he must spend a number of years behind bars for it – even drunken people understand this.”


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EXPLAINED: The rules for riding an e-scooter in Germany

The popularity of electric scooters in Germany has exploded in the last few years, but many people still aren't sure what the rules for driving them are. We break them down.

EXPLAINED: The rules for riding an e-scooter in Germany

Germany is currently the world’s second-largest market for e-scooter rental after the USA, which might explain why you have the feeling that you’re seeing the electric vehicles everywhere these days, at least in cities. 

According to a recent survey by ADAC,15 percent of people in Germany aged 16 and over regularly use e-scooters. Of these, 45 percent own their own scooter, while 55 percent rent the vehicles from sharing services.

Here are the rules for driving an e-scooter that you need to know.

Who can drive an e-scooter?

Anyone over the age of 14 can ride an electric scooter and you don’t need to have a driving license to use one. However, many of the traffic rules for motorists also apply to e-scooter riders, and misbehaving on a scooter could end up costing you points on your driving license or even getting you a driving ban.

READ ALSO: Driving in Germany: Eight German road signs that confuse foreigners

Can more than one person ride an e-scooter?

No. Only one person is allowed to ride a scooter and if you are caught riding in two, you will get a €10 fine.

Although it might be fun, riding side by side on two scooters is also not allowed and can be punished with a fine of between €15 and €30. Instead, you and your friends have to ride in single file.

Where can you ride an e-scooter?

E-scooters are principally allowed on bike paths and in bike lanes and you can only drive them on the road if there is no bike lane available. If you do drive on the road, you must keep as far to the right as possible and you are not allowed to ride in bus lanes.

It’s also forbidden to ride an e-scooter on the motorway – doing so will get you a €20 fine. 

Riding an e-scooter on the pavement, in pedestrian-only zones, or in one-way streets against the direction of traffic is also not allowed and can land you a fine of between €15 and €30.

However, e-scooters are allowed on one-way or no-entry roads which have a “cyclists free” sign.

A no-entry sign with a “cyclists free” sign underneath. This sign also applies to e-scooters. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Jens Kalaene

Which traffic light rules apply to electric scooters?

E-scooter riders have to abide by traffic lights just like motorists, and the fine for ignoring a red light on an e-scooter is between €60 and €180.

However, if there is also a traffic light for bicycles, e-scooter riders can follow this one instead.

Is there an alcohol limit for electric scooters?

Yes, the same alcohol limits for motorists apply to electric scooter riders.

This means that anyone who drives with a blood alcohol level of between 0.5 to 1.09 is liable for a fine of €500, a 1-month driving ban and 2 points on their driving license.

It’s a criminal offence to ride an electric scooter with a blood alcohol concentration of at more than 1.1, as is causing an accident with a blood alcohol level of more than 0.3.

Under 21s must be completely alcohol free – with a blood alcohol level of 0.0 – to ride an e-scooter.

Where can e-scooters be parked?

E-scooters can be parked at the roadside, on the pavement and in pedestrian zones with designated e-scooter parking areas. However, e-scooters must be parked in such a way that they don’t obstruct or endanger pedestrians or other road users. 

Parked e-scooters in Stuttgart. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christoph Schmidt

Which rules are there for e-scooter owners?

If you’ve upgraded from renting to owning your own scooter, there are certain requirements you have to be aware of. 

Firstly, it’s mandatory to have liability insurance and a special sticker (similar to a license plate) stuck to the scooter to show that it is insured.

READ ALSO: German words you need to know: Haftpflichtversicherung

E-scooter owners also have to make sure that they have two independently working brakes and lights. 

Which other rules should I be aware of?

As with driving a car or cycling, you are not allowed to use your mobile phone while riding an e-scooter (which is pretty challenging anyway). If you’re caught doing so, you’ll get a €100 fine and a point on your driving license. 

It’s not mandatory to wear a helmet when riding an e-scooter, though it is recommended.