Voerendaal mayor threatened with firearm

Mayor Wil Houben of Voerendaal was threatened with a firearm two weeks ago, the Public Prosecutor confirmed to NOS after reports in De Limburger.

Houben was driving on the outskirts of the town when a man wearing a balaclava stepped into the road and pointed a gun at him. "It was almost surreal", the mayor said to De Limburger. "Out of nowhere there was someone with a balaclava and a handgun in front of my car holding me at gunpoint. He came closer and closer. Then you know instinctively that something is very wrong. My mind said 'drive', and my body did its job."

The VVD mayor is convinced that this threat was aimed specifically at him. The authorities believe that the man waited by the side of the road for around 2 hours before Houben came by, according to the newspaper. 

Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs called it terrible that Houben was threatened. She spoke to him on the phone and is glad that he reported the incident to the police, she said to the newspaper. 

This is not the first violent incident directed towards a public figure in Voerendaal. Last year an alderman's car was set on fire. Houben believes that this arson was related to two brothers being evicted from a caravan camp in the town due to rent arrears and suspicions of criminal activities. At the time of their eviction, the mayor said that they had threatened aldermen and municipal officials multiple times.