Because of this year’s first heatwave, thousands of Berliners populated their city’s public outdoor swimming pools last weekend. In one of them, located in the German capital’s Steglitz borough, the police had to intervene because the use of water guns had led to a big brawl.
Berlin, June 21st, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — On Sunday, the Berlin Police Department had to stop a brawl at a public swimming pool in Steglitz. It is not the first time. In this case, “about 100 persons” were involved, according to an official statement. At 4:25 p.m. local time, two groups, one consisting of four and the other of ten persons, splashed each other with water guns. Suddenly, the situation escalated.
The Berlin Spectator now has a newsletter. You can subscribe here:
A verbal argument commenced and caused a physical confrontation, the police say. At this point, security staffers at the pool intervened and tried to mediate, but the measure backfired. Within moments, some one hundred swimming pool visitors were involved in a big brawl. The police needed to be called in. Countless officers who arrived managed to make sure the situation calmed down.
During the investigation on site, the police identified three persons aged 15 and 21 (two of them) who are now suspected of a breach of the peace offense in a severe case. According to the Berlin Police Department, one of them is being accused of beating a 23-year-old security staffer. In this case, the charge is aggravated battery. The suspect was in police custody temporarily, while his victim was treated by medics on site.
Another suspect told the police he had been attacked with a knife and injured by an unidentified person. A 10-year-old boy who got into the fight was punched. The BPD’s criminal investigation department is still investigating.
In the past years, similar incidents in public swimming pools were reported in several parts of Germany. In Berlin, the Prinzenbad pool in Kreuzberg and the Columbiabad in Neukölln are known as hotspots in this regard. In German, the “bad” syllable does not stand for “bad” but “bath”. On a regular basis, the police needed to be called because of incidents of violence and rampage. In some cases, pools had to be closed for the rest of the day. The situation deteriorated in the past few years.
Another issue hundreds of Berliners experienced this past weekend was less alarming, but annoying: Because of the excessive heat, most pools were overcrowded. The online ticketing system collapsed temporarily, according to individuals who kept on trying to get tickets. Many sweating persons waited for hours until they were given access to swimming pool, others did not even make it inside.