Knife-wielding man attacks Jewish family
Zurich – An Orthodox Jewish family was attacked by a man carrying a knife in Zurich, Switzerland over the weekend, local news outlets have reported.
The incident occurred Saturday evening in Zurich’s 3rd district, when a man carrying a knife lunged at an Orthodox Jewish family. When his would-be victims fled, the attacker chased after them, hurling antisemitic curses as he pursued them.
The attacker was later arrested and transferred for questioning, Zurich police said.
The incident began in a playground, when the attacker began staring at a group of children.
When the children’s father, Johann T., approached the man and asked if he needed any help, the “guy reacted very aggressively and stood up in front of me,” Johann said.
“I didn’t want any trouble, so I took my kids and left.”
Johann T.and his family returned home, believing that was the end of the matter.
When they stepped out half an hour later, however, to go to synagogue, the man was waiting for them, carrying a knife.
The family attempted to quickly walk away from the man carrying the knife, but the attacker “suddenly started sprinting towards us,” the father said.
A passerby, who is also a member of the local Jewish community, later managed to subdue the attacker until police came.
The assailant has been identified as a “local man”, who police say is neither a radical Muslim nor a known member of any neo-Nazi movement.
Police held the suspect overnight, but freed him on Sunday.
Authorities justified the release in a statement, claiming that the man was under the influence of alcohol at the time, and never got close enough to his would-be victims to actually harm them.
“A man approached a group of Orthodox Jews and made anti-Semitic remarks,” police spokesperson Marco Cortesi said. “He carried a knife with him, and was obviously very intoxicated.”
“But the man did not pose a real danger to them, since he was too far away from the [family]. There is no clear motive behind the incident, as he is neither a Nazi, nor an Islamist.”