Refugees suspected of assaulting five women in Almere
With reporting by Graeme Kidd.
Three men requesting asylum in Almere are suspected in the assaults of as many as five women in the Flevoland city. One of the cases involves an 18-year-old woman attacked overnight at a taxi stand by the men, believed to be residents of the asylum reception center there, according to Almere Nieuws.
The incident, followed live by police on a closed-circuit television system, started when the men grabbed the woman at a Grote Markt taxi station off De Herbergsteeg at about 3 a.m. The woman was rescued by a girlfriend who also notified police.
Dispatchers connected to a security camera system there had officers at the scene within minutes. The three suspects were caught soon after. A fourth person was also apprehended, reported the Telegraaf.
The suspects are all aged from 18 to 20 years old. A father of one victim said the men, "did not clearly understand that Dutch women are not pleased by being sexually assaulted after a night out."
Two similar cases were reported to police between Sunday night and Monday morning, but investigators have not yet found a third victim.
Since publishing their initial report at 6:15 a.m., the local news service was then contacted by two others to report similar incidents. A 27-year-old and her 24-year-old friend, both from Amsterdam, say they have not yet reported their story from early Sunday morning to police.
"My girlfriend and I were walking that night around 2:30 a.m. from the Grote Markt by De Herbergsteeg toward a parking garage," one of the women told Almere Nieuws. "In that alley my girlfriend was grabbed by one boy and two others wanted me to stop," she added.
She says the men were acting wild and out of control, but she responded in a similarly crazed manner. "It happened very quickly. We also swung [to strike the men] quite wildly all around, and the three men walked away."