Torben P. said he didn’t know why he repeatedly stomped on a man’s head at the Friedrichstraße underground station in April, an incident that shocked Germany by its sheer brutality and led to vows to crack down harder on violent crime.
But the teenager did say he was shocked and horrified at his deed, though his memory of what happened was “patchy” due to his alcohol consumption. Both he and the victim, who suffered a concussion, lacerations and a broken nose, were drunk at the time of the attack.
The high school student stands charged with attempted homicide and aggravated assault. A passer-by managed to stop him from assaulting the 29-year-old victim.
An acquaintance of Torben P. is charged with attacking the man who intervened.
The assault triggered a nationwide debate on crime as well as how to deal with violent adolescents. Authorities in Berlin increased security on the city’s public transportation network as a direct result of the attack.
Torben P. was subsequently tracked down after surveillance video of the incident was played on television.
There have been at several high-profile violent incidents S and U-Bahn train stations around Germany this year, inclduing a knife attack at station in Berlin’s Wedding district in April and the beating of a 20-year-old student at Munich’s main train station the following month.