The owner of the Delicious Store delicatessen on Eindhoven’s Grote Berg has been sentenced to six weeks in prison after attacking two police officers. Three weeks of the sentence will be served on probation. He also has to pay damages of 850 euros to the police offers who he attacked.
On Friday 8 January, law enforcement officers visited Delicious Store. When the officers noticed that the employees were not wearing masks and were refusing to cooperate, they called the police.
The situation quickly got out of hand, leading to the store owner’s arrest. However, he resisted the arrest and physically assaulted the two police officers. He locked one officer in a chokehold and kicked the other in the leg.
Today the owner appeared in court. According to Omroep Brabant, he was ordered to pay 400 euros in damages to the police officer who he kicked in the leg. The officer says that she was psychologically affected by the incident and still suffers problems with her knee.
The owner claims that he cannot remember much of the incident. In particular, he says he does not recall being so aggressive. He has no criminal record and has never been in contact with the police before. ‘Something must have snapped inside me,’ he told the judge. He says it may have been a reaction to his wife allegedly being knocked over by a law enforcement officer.
The owner claims he was not wearing a mask because he is exempt on medical grounds. He says he has an auto-immune disease and that breathing in a mask would damage his immune system and make him ‘forgetful’. He displayed a sign in the delicatessen window which read ‘wij adem vrij’, or ‘we breathe freely’, i.e. without a mask.
The prosecution condemned the man’s violent behaviour. ‘We take violence against law enforcement and police officers very seriously. In addition, his story about his medical exemption does not add up at all,’ says a spokesperson for the prosecution.
Translation: Rachael Vickerman