Police officer assaulted, choked in Amersfoort; six arrested
A police officer was assaulted and choked in Amersfoort during the early hours of Saturday morning. She was taken to hospital with a severe concussion and injuries to her face. Six young people were arrested, the police said in a statement.
National Police Chief Erik Akerboom expressed his disgust over the incident. "Aggression, alcohol and drugs are too often the cause. Harsh punishment is the only thing that fits", he said on Twitter. He called it "shocking and unacceptable".
The brawl started on Nieuweweg around 3:00 a.m. on Saturday. Based on information from witnesses, the officer wanted to arrest a woman suspected of vandalizing a shop window. The woman was part of a group of six people, two women and four men. The others interfered in the conversation, and three other police officers came to back the officer up. At that point a 21-year-old man turned against the officer. He assaulted her and put his hands around her throat.
"She was lying on the floor bleeding, while the man tried to strangle her", police spokesperson Cornelie Hogeveen said to newspaper AD. "The colleagues feared for her life at that moment. They realized that if they did not stop the violence, they would lose their colleague."
The other officers had to result to threatening the group with tasers. All six - two women and four men from Bunschoten-Spakenburg between the ages of 17 and 22 years - were arrested. They were still in custody on Sunday afternoon.
The officer who was nearly strangled will press charges of attempted manslaughter once she is able, according to the newspaper. Three other officers also sustained injuries, to the shoulder, neck and leg. They pressed charges of assault.
The police called on witnesses to come forward. Several people came forward with important information, police spokesperson Martin de Wit said to AD. He emphasized that new witnesses should still make contact with the police.