An original translation from Rheinische Post:
Manhunt In Rees
Man Threatens Several With Hatchet
January 3., 2018 | 18.22 h CET
Rees. A man allegedly assaulted three people in Haldern and Empel and threatened them with a hatchet. Police are hunting for a suspect. By Markus Balser
Three people had a close encounter of the bloodcurling kind, Tuesday evening in Haldern and in Empel: A man threatened them with a hatchet. A 25-year-old from Wesel was lightly wounded. The perpetrator escaped. The suspect is a 29-year-old Moroccan. Police are searching for him.
As the investigators announce, the first assault took place around 9:20 PM on the platform of the Haldern train station. A 50-year-old man from Rees was waiting there, when the Moroccan approached him with a hatchet in the hand and demanded money. The Reesian threw a small sum of cash in his direction. When the perpetrator bent over for it, the victim ran away.
Man Shouts At Armed Perpetrator
Just a short while after this, the second assault took place; this time in Empel. According to police, a 22-year-old woman was driving her Opel Corsa on Halderner Straße around 9:40 PM, heading for Haldern. A 25-year-old man from Wesel was accompanying her in the car. About 150 metres behind the B67 highway, the young woman had to stop, because a bicycle was lying across the street. In this moment, the perpetrator dashed towards the Opel, smashed in the passenger seat window of the car, and prompted the passengers to get out of the car. The front-seat-passenger, who suffered abrasions, indeed got out of the car, according to police, and loudly shouted at the Moroccan, who, at that, escaped in the direction of B67. He left his bike behind.
Despite a large-scale manhunt with two police dogs, in which the Federal Police and forces of the district police offices Wesel and Borken participated, the perpetrator could not yet be apprehended. Possibly, he fled into a close-by forest tuesday night in the protection of darkness.
It is plausible that both assaults were committed by the same person, as the descriptions of both perpetrators are congruent, and the distance between the two crime scenes can be covered in 20 minutes by bike.
The 29-year-old suspect is about 1.80 metres tall, and slim, according to police. He is wearing a red hooded jacket, a black hooded shirt, and a light pair of trousers, a white face mask and grey gloves. The police, who do not have clues pointing to an Islamist background of the man, warn of approaching him. They ask for hints concerning the wanted person at Criminal Police Kalkar under the phone number 02824 880.
Translator’s note: Rees, Heldern and Empel are idyllic smalltowns, but lie in the troubled state of North-Rhine Westphalia, infamous for the Cologne sex attacks, or the district of Duisburg-Marxloh (video).