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Wanted man arrested: Special unit storms flat in Siegburg

Wanted man arrested : Special unit storms flat in Siegburg

Police have arrested a man in a flat in Siegburg. The man, who is wanted on a European arrest warrant, is alleged to have been involved in an attempted murder, among other things. A resident describes the operation.

The sound of an explosion abruptly roused the residents of Theodor-Heuss-Straße from their sleep at 6 a.m. on Wednesday. "At first I couldn't place the sound," says a resident who witnessed the deployment of a special police unit on Wednesday morning. She described her impressions for the General-Anzeiger.

At first she thought of shots being fired. "Or was it another cash machine being blown up? Within the protective four walls of her own bedroom, the curiosity to know where the bang came from prevails," she says. So a few seconds later, the blind of the floor-to-ceiling window is carefully pulled up, unaware of what is happening at the same time in the flat below. Slowly, the slits in the blind open to reveal the barrel of a gun. A man in a sand-coloured suit with a black helmet points the rifle at the first-floor window from the street.

"In a split second, the sense of security of your own bedroom disappears as it becomes clear: The man is aiming at us," says the resident. Quickly, shelter is sought behind the bed to get out of the possible line of fire. The next moment, the mobile phone is at hand to make an emergency call: "Someone is pointing a gun at us here." Only when the other end says, "Don't worry, these are our colleagues," that the tension dropped.

According to the police, members of a special task force forced their way into a flat on the ground floor. The task forces accessed a flat from the front and the back of a house on Theodor-Heuss-Strasse and arrested a man, the district police said on request. Police investigators then examined the property. "An arrest warrant has been executed on behalf of the Cologne Public Prosecutor's Office," a police spokesperson explained. The procedure was necessary due to the circumstances, the spokesperson added.

Accusation: participation in an attempted murder

According to statements by senior public prosecutor Anja Drossé of the Cologne public prosecutor's office, a man was arrested who is accused by Spanish authorities of involvement in an attempted murder and bodily harm. The offences are alleged to have been committed in 2018. The authorities have now issued a European arrest warrant. This provided the Higher Regional Court with the basis for the extradition warrant, which was executed by the General Public Prosecutor's Office in Cologne on Wednesday morning.

The extradition request will now be examined in the further proceedings. The suspect could object to it, it was said. It is therefore still unclear when he will finally be handed over to the Spanish authorities for further investigations. He would then face trial there. The chief public prosecutor did not give any further details about the arrested man on Wednesday.

Two hours after the events, only the shards of the patio door and black stains from the blasting of the barred gate reminded anyone of the operation. Only the images in the resident's mind will probably be remembered a little longer.

Original text: Annika Schmidt, Alexander Hertel and Nathalie Dreschke

Translation: Mareike Graepel