Man leaps with son, 5, from third-floor window

A father and his young son are in serious condition after police and firefighters were called to their home in northeast Berlin early on Wednesday morning.

Man leaps with son, 5, from third-floor window
Schönhauser Allee in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Neighbours called the emergency services when the saw the 38-year-old and the boy lying in the courtyard of their building on Schönhauser Allee in Prenzlauer Berg.

Both father and son were seriously injured and had to be taken to hospital, although their fall was broken by a canopy below the window.

Police found the man's girlfriend, who is not the mother of the boy, in a state of shock when they entered his apartment.

Tagesspiegel reported that the family had been under supervision by the youth welfare service (Jugendamt) after the man climbed onto the roof of the nearby Colosseum cinema with his son in February.

That time police called to the scene were able to persuade him to come down and nobody was hurt.

The man was later charged with crimes under parenting laws and the youth welfare office became involved, taking the child into foster care.

The man dropped out of sight of the authorities after returning to his homeland, Israel, and did not inform either the police or the youth welfare office of his return to Berlin.

Christine Keil, the local councillor responsible for youth issues, said the incident was the first the authorities knew of his return to Berlin.

State murder police have taken over the investigation.

SEE ALSO: Criminals blow Berliner Sparkasse wide open


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German police under fire for using tracing app to find witnesses

German police drew criticism Tuesday for using an app to trace contacts from bars and restaurants in the fight against the pandemic as part of an investigation.

A barcode used for the Luca check-in app to trace possible Covid contacts at a Stuttgart restaurant.
A barcode used for the Luca check-in app to trace possible Covid contacts at a Stuttgart restaurant. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Marijan Murat

The case stemming from November last year began after the fatal fall of a man while leaving a restaurant in the western city of Mainz.

Police seeking possible witnesses made use of data from an app known as Luca, which was designed for patrons to register time spent in restaurants and taverns to track the possible spread of coronavirus.

Luca records the length of time spent at an establishment along with the patron’s full name, address and telephone number – all subject to Germany’s strict data protection laws.

However the police and local prosecutors in the case in Mainz successfully appealed to the municipal health authorities to gain access to information about 21 people who visited the restaurant at the same time as the man who died.

After an outcry, prosecutors apologised to the people involved and the local data protection authority has opened an inquiry into the affair.

“We condemn the abuse of Luca data collected to protect against infections,” said the company that developed the Luca app, culture4life, in a statement.

It added that it had received frequent requests for its data from the authorities which it routinely rejected.

Konstantin von Notz, a senior politician from the Greens, junior partners in the federal coalition, warned that abuse of the app could undermine public trust.

“We must not allow faith in digital apps, which are an important tool in the fight against Covid-19, to disappear,” he told Tuesday’s edition of Handelsblatt business daily.