A week after a similar incident took place in Berlin’s Steglitz borough, hundreds of visitors of a public outdoor swimming pool in the German capital’s Neukölln district harassed police officers after a woman was injured by an unknown man. The pool was closed.
Berlin, June 27th, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — Officers from the police station in precinct 55 had to rush to the ‘Sommerbad’ on Sunday, a public swimming pool in Neukölln, which is both a district and a neighborhood in Berlin. They were told about an argument behind one of the slides into the pool.
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Splashed and Hit
According to a police statement, a 21-year-old woman and persons who were with her were splashed with water pistols by a group of kids “against their will”. At this moment, a verbal argument commenced. A man aged 35 to 40 supposedly intervened. According to witnesses, he held a water gun to the woman’s face and splashed her. She spat at him, and he reacted by hitting her in the face with the toy gun.
Medics who were called to the swimming pool because the victim’s nose was bleeding identified a nasal bone fracture and treated her. She refused to be taken to a hospital. The police say the man who injured the woman could not be found.
While the police were dealing with the attack and talking to witnesses, a turmoil suddenly developed, according to the police report on the case. The officers on site and the swimming pool’s security guards were pressed by a crowd of “up to 250 bathers”. Many guests at the pool did not follow the orders that were given to them by the security guards. For that reason, the ‘Sommerbad Neukölln’ was officially closed at that moment.
Everyone there was ordered to leave, but some people refused to do so. When more police officers arrived “the situation calmed down”, the report says, and the pool could finally be closed. The investigation in the aggravated battery incident in which the 21-year-old woman was injured is ongoing.
Aggression and Safety
The two incidents at two public outdoor swimming pools in Berlin within one week raises questions: Why is there so much aggression, all of a sudden? How safe is it to visit those pools in Berlin? The RBB radio and television network quoted Matthias Oloew, a spokesman for the state-owned company Berliner Bäderbetriebe (BBB) which runs most public swimming pools in the city. He said there was “no general safety problem”.
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