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Still from TV Halle report on knife violence

German police left red-faced over under-reported victims

German police have been left red-faced over a series of assaults in the Pestalozzipark in Halle, as they have had to correct the number of victims upwards on at least two occasions.

Published: September 25, 2018, 9:07 am

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    “In total, there were six injured persons at night according to current findings,” says police spokeswoman for city in central Germany, Lisa Wirth. These are the three people and two witnesses, who were themselves injured while trying to intervene.

    The sixth victim is a 14-year-old who was attacked the day before, as the police say. The attack on her was an assault, which, however, was only recorded the next evening.

    The police had initially spoken of only three victims, but then later spoke of four victims. One teenager who is said to have been attacked in the night from Friday to Saturday told TV Halle how brutally the group of foreigners had assaulted them. One was knocked unconscious when he wanted to help a friend after a robbery in the park, according to the report.

    “I was in a crowd of teenagers, I wanted to talk to them about what was going on. Since they had already drawn knives, I ran off and I was hit with a baton on my head,” he said. Then everything went dark around him and he had only woken up in the ambulance.

    He certainly feels – at least during evening hours – that Pestalozzi Park should be avoided. He continued: “At night, it’s hell over here”. Migrant youths get drunk, take drugs and play around with knives.

    The mother of the victim meanwhile said she wants to call in a lawyer, but she does not have much hope of catching the perpetrators, she says.

    The series of robbery offenses in the Pestalozzipark on the night of Friday to Saturday was apparently even more serious than initially reported by the police.

    A larger group of migrants was seen rampaging through the park too. Witnesses speak of more than ten people.

    One of the victims was admitted to hospital with a broken vertebra and three knocked-out teeth. All other participants were beaten down with truncheons, were sometimes kicked in the face and were threatened with knives. All have severe bruises all over their bodies.

    Statements from a victim who had been injured with knives and truncheons were confirmed by the police. However, the statement was not known until his interrogation on Wednesday, they say.

    Meanwhile, the perpetrators are still on the loose, despite new evidence. “The police were handed a cellphone and an earring found at the scene. Whether these items are related to the deeds, but still needs to be tested,” said Wirth.

    “The local police forces have carried out all the necessary law enforcement police action,” she says. She also contradicted a witness statement that several suspects have been arrested and taken away.

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