A Syrian migrant living in Germany was at liberty to commit rape on Saturday evening after the Berlin public prosecutor decided he was not an imminent threat despite breaking into an elderly woman’s home the night before and attempting to strangle her to death.
An internal investigation is underway into why prosecutors opted not to press charges immediately against the 25-year-old Syrian national following his arrest on Friday evening for a violent assault on a senior citizen.
Shortly before 5 p.m., the man forced his way into his 78-year-old victim’s home on Bremer Strasse in the multicultural borough of Moabit in the German capital.
“The attacker is said to have put her in a so-called headlock and choked her,” read a Berlin police report.
“The 78-year-old called loudly for help, whereupon several relatives who also lived in the house came to her aid and were only able to free her from the 25-year-old’s grip with great effort,” it added.
The attacker fled the building and robbed a pedestrian on Wiebestrasse before he was finally arrested despite resisting, injuring himself, and being taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
According to BZ, the on-call public prosecutor did not determine the suspect’s actions had made him a priority to be brought before a judge to approve pre-trial detention.
“The urgent suspicion was not initially recognized,” a spokeswoman for the public prosecutor’s office told the German news outlet.
He was, therefore, free to roam the streets on Saturday and rape an asylum seeker living at the refugee accommodation on Ostpreußendamm in Lichterfelde.
The victim “managed to draw attention to herself by calling for help around 5 p.m. after a man allegedly overpowered her at the door to her room,” read the police report. “The suspect then locked the door and attacked the woman.”
The man fled the scene again and has not yet been detained by the authorities. The victim was hospitalized following the attack.
“The rape could have been prevented. How can you explain to the victim that the perpetrator should actually have been in the detention cell?” a police source told the German newspaper Bild.