January 14, 2018 Cottbus. Without any apparent reason, in front of a shopping centre, three youths attacked a married couple with a knife. Mayor Holger Kelch (CDU) is shocked. By Rüdiger Hofmann
As police announce, Friday, just after 4 PM, a 51-year-old and his 43-year-old wife from Cottbus wanted to visit the Blechen-Carré on Karl-Liebknecht-Straße, when they were attacked by three Syrian youths aged 14, 15 and 17. They demanded precedence, says police spokesman Ines Filohn. They also demanded that the woman should show respect to them. When the woman refused to do so, the youths attacked her husband.
Two of them physically attacked the man and tried to push him over. Another from the group produced a knife. In this moment, a brave passer-by intervened and helped the husband. “With his courageous help, the man prevented worse from happening” says Ines Filohn. The security staff who were called seized the three suspects and held them until police arrived.
Mayor Holger Kelch is shocked: “It is appalling, and not tolerable for us as a city, and a state under the rule of law, what happened in these first days of January in Cottbus. Violence is not a way to encourage or resolve conflicts. My sympathies are with the aggrieved parties, I hope they get well soon and will be able to get over these experiences.”
Kelch and the police hope that the courageous passer-by will get into contact to support the investigations as a witness. “As a witness, he can call the phone number 0355 4937 1227 at the police office Cottbus, or any other police inspection“, says police spokesman Ines Filohn. According to our enquiry, as of Sunday, he has not yet contacted police.
“The state of law will have to bare teeth, even if some lawsuits can be arduous and tedious”, says Holger Kelch. “I have appointed a meeting of the responsible administrative sectors, to discuss the situation. If we are responsible for the custodianship, we will do everything in our power, to make it clear to the youths which values and rules prevail in Germany and in Cottbus, and that they have to adhere to them. We will also contact the parents, to make it clear to them that their children’s behaviour will not remain without consequence”, says Kelch. “We will not have our city’s progress ruinated by such incidents.”
In the meantime, witnesses were found, and surveillance recordings and the knife secured. The 14-year-old is already known to the police as violent offender. The youths were handed over to their legal guardians. Criminal police begun investigations for dangerous battery. As the three suspects are minors, they will be tried under youth criminal law.
In general, attacks by foreign fellow citizens seem to become more frequent lately. “At least, this is the felt sense”, says Ines Filohn. “For exact numbers, we will have to wait for the analysis of the criminal statistics, which we will have in spring”, says the police spokesman.