Here’s the report from Berliner Morgenpost, as translated by our Flemish correspondent VH:
Berlin police officer in stable condition after knife attack- - - - - - - - -
Tuesday, December 16, 2008 17:20
[Photo caption: Two men are suspected of having stolen a camera from this pickup truck. They fled into a house after they had noticed that the theft was being observed. When police officers attempted to arrest them there, one stabbed a police officer several times.]
Police officer Patrick G. will probably not go out on patrol without his protective vest anymore. Last Tuesday he was seriously wounded when he was stabbed by a car thief. But the 42-year-old Police officer is in stable condition now.
One officer was attacked during the operation in Charlottenburg and heavily injured. The 42-year-old Patrick G. was stabbed several times in his upper body. He had to be operated on in the emergency unit. The condition of the officer has been stable since then and his life is no longer in danger. The presumed offender was arrested. The 5th Homicide squad proposes he be charges with attempted murder. On Wednesday the public prosecutor’s office issued an arrest warrant against the man.
The police had been called by a witness who noticed two men busy with a building firm’s pickup truck that was parked in a courtyard. “From the window I observed two men going to the truck,” the witness later reported at the scene. She lives in the adjoining house. According to her one of the men looked like an elder German with grey hair, the other like an Arab man and was wearing a bobble hat. “In the courtyard stood this pickup truck for an installation company that was installing heaters,” the witness explains further. The two men had opened an unlocked door of the truck and stole a camera. “When the perpetrators found out they where being watched, they fled to a nearby house,” a police spokesman said.
The witness — who would like to remain anonymous — had, according to her, spoken to the construction workers and asked whether the men perhaps were colleagues. “When they denied it, I called the police,” the woman said. At the same time the construction workers pursued the offenders, until they disappeared in a nearby house at Sophie-Charlotten-Road number 105 h.
At the same time there were plainclothes officers of the traffic control unit in the vicinity. The officers usually search for stolen cars and drunk drivers, but also check for valid papers. In emergencies, if there are urgent situations, they are also deployed supplementally.
Thus also Patrick G., a former detective constable in management, who went with his colleague to the house at the Sophie Charlotten Road. There they rang the doorbell at about 11:35, where the wanted persons were thought to be hiding. When nobody answered, they used force to enter. Once inside they were obviously already expected by the 30-years-old owner of the house, Hakan Ö., who stabbed Patrick G. repeatedly. The officer — who contrary to habit didn’t wear his protective vest — fell down.
With support of further colleagues they finally succeeded in arresting the aggressor, a police spokesman said. The accomplice, who had been involved in the theft, is still on the run, however. Whether a protective vest would have prevented the official from being injured is not clear, since the vests used do not protect against stabs into the belly area. “The wearing of the vest is voluntary,” a police spokesman answered questions. An official at the scene in Charlottenburg added: “Unfortunately routine is often the enemy of self-protection.”
The German police trade union (DpolG [Deutsche Polizeigewerkschaft]) meanwhile demands greater punishments for offenders who attack policemen. Each act of violence against an official must draw a detention, the national chairman Rainer Wendt said. In the past five years the number of assaults annually rose nationwide from 20,000 to 27,000. In Berlin alone, each day nine policemen are attacked and three of them injured. For “resistance against an enforcement officer” the only punishment mandated is a term of up to two years or a fine. “With this, attacks on policemen in criminal law are treated the exact same as fish poaching,” according to Wendt.
The Crime Atlas of the newspaper Berliner Morgenpost shows you how dangerous it is in your neighborhood —the Berlin police have an interactive crime statistics diagram including ten crime categories, for all local areas. [Graph here]
Hat tip: ESW.