According to the police, a 51-year-old German 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 to go in front of the queue, police spokesman Ines Filohn told the Lausitzer Rundschau. They also demanded a show of rspect from the woman. When she refused to do so, the youths attacked her husband.
Two of them physically attacked the man and tried to push him over and the other one produced a knife. A brave passer-by intervened and helped the husband. “With his courageous help, the man prevented something worse from happening” says Ines Filohn. The security staff who were called arrested the three suspects and held them until police arrived.
Mayor Holger Kelch expressed his shock: “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 contact the police soon to support their investigations as a witness. “As a witness, he can call the phone number 0355 4937 1227 at the Cottbus police office, or any other police inspection”, says police spokesman Ines Filohn. He has not yet contacted police.
“The lawful state will have to bare its teeth, even if some lawsuits can be arduous and tedious”, says Holger Kelch. “I have convened a meeting of the responsible administrative sectors, to discuss the situation. 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 ruined by such incidents.”
In the meantime, other witnesses have come forward and surveillance recordings as well as the knife was secured. The 14-year-old is already known to the police as a violent offender. The youths were handed over to their legal guardians. Criminal police have begun investigations for dangerous assault. As the three suspects are minors, they will be tried under youth criminal law.
In general, attacks by foreigners have become more frequent lately, the Lausitzer Rundschaunoted. “At least, this is the sense experienced”, 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.