German Man Charged With Murder Attempt After Ramming Car Into New Year Crowed

Published January 2nd, 2019 - 01:43 GMT
A police car in a cordoned off area at the site where a man injured four people after driving into a group celebrating the new year, in what police described as an anti-migrant attack. (AFP)
A police car in a cordoned off area at the site where a man injured four people after driving into a group celebrating the new year, in what police described as an anti-migrant attack. (AFP)

German prosecutors have charged a man arrested on New Year’s day with attempted murder after he rammed his car into crowds of revelers in two separate attacks, police said on Wednesday.

The 50-year-old German was detained after he drove his Mercedes into people celebrating the New Year in the western cities of Bottrop and Essen in a suspected hate crime in which eight foreigners were injured.

Police in the city of Munster said a judge had approved a request by prosecutors to formally charge him with multiple counts of attempted murder.

All but one of the eight people injured were from Syria and Afghanistan. An eighth man who suffered a leg injury was identified as a 34-year-old German-Turk from Essen.

A Syrian woman who suffered life-threatening injuries is recovering in hospital after an emergency operation, police said.

The suspect had made racist remarks when police officers detained him near Essen, police said.

The attack began shortly after midnight while people were celebrating New Year's out on the streets, when the assailant pursued one single passer-by who managed to move out of the way. He then drove further into the city center, slamming his car into a crowd injuring a group of pedestrians.

He then drove toward Essen, where he twice attempted to run people down, injuring one person, before being arrested by police.

In addition, investigators have preliminary information about a mental illness of the driver.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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