Neo-Nazi gestures man who hit English speaker gives himself up
A man who shouted Heil Hitler and beat up a US national in a McDonald's for speaking English surrendered to German police.
23 December 2007
Gelsenkirchen, Germany (dpa) - A man who shouted Heil Hitler and beat up a US national in a McDonald's for speaking English surrendered Friday to German police.
The suspect, who was remanded in custody, faces charges of assault and using neo-Nazi gestures.
The victim, 54, has required two operations for injuries to his leg after he was head butted to the ground and savagely kicked inside the restaurant last Saturday.
Police said the suspect, 31, phoned police and admitted the offence after security camera images of the incident were published in newspapers in the factory city of Gelsenkirchen, western Germany.
He did not offer any reason for the attack, saying only that he had been drunk and lost his temper.
Police say he interrupted a conversation in English between the victim and his female partner. The girlfriend explained that her friend knew little German and the American asked, "What's your problem?"
The attacker described as having short blonde hair, used an expletive to call the victim an "Englander," said, "This is Germany. German must be spoken," and assaulted him.
The restaurant, a franchise of a US company, was crowded at the time.
The suspect has a record of assault and is currently on suspension after a theft conviction, but has no record of neo-Nazi activity, the police said.