German arrested after Syrian refugee attacked on tram

Video circulating on social media shows man kicking teenager in the face

Police have arrested a man, 39, in connection with an assault on a 17-year-old Syrian refugee in the city of Erfurt, Germany. AP
Police have arrested a man, 39, in connection with an assault on a 17-year-old Syrian refugee in the city of Erfurt, Germany. AP

A 39-year-old German man was arrested in connection with a racist attack on a teenage Syrian refugee in the eastern city of Erfurt that was captured on video, officials said on Monday.

The governor of Thuringia state, at the heart of which lies Erfurt, described the attack on a city tram as “simply disgusting”.

“The perpetrator has been caught,” Bodo Ramelow said. “Such a cowardly person, strong and aggressive against someone who was defenceless.”

A video circulating on social media shows a man standing over the seated victim, repeatedly voicing insults and spitting at him, before kicking him in the face.

Erfurt police said the 17-year-old victim from Syria suffered minor injuries in the attack, which followed an argument.

Passengers who witnessed the attack alerted police, who were able to identify the suspect based on the footage.

There were 102 cases of far-right and anti-Semitic violence in Thuringia last year, anti-racism groups said.

The assault took place in the same week that a black customer was ejected from a Berlin supermarket after complaining about another shopper’s racist slur.

Supermarket chain Aldi apologised for the incident and said a member of staff has been dismissed.

Updated: April 26, 2021 10:33 PM

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