Four Rotterdam cops hurt during weekend arrests

Police officer being treated by a paramedic
Police officer being treated by a paramedicPhoto: Politie

Four police officers were injured in Rotterdam while making arrests in the city over the weekend. One officer broke his arm and two others sustained bruises and abrasions during an arrest on Saturday. The fourth was knocked out by a man in a wedding procession on Friday.

At around 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, the police responded to a report of debit card fraud while paying for a watch. A suspect was eventually arrested, a police spokesperson said to NOS. "But that took a lot effort. During the arrest, one officer's arm was broken and two others walked away with multiple abrasions. Exactly what happened is still under investigation. "It is very sad of course. That is beyond dispute", the spokesperson said.

At 4:00 p.m. on Friday the police responded to a report of a wedding procession causing problems in the city. There was a lot of honking and dangerous driving, according to RTV Rijnmond. The police pulled the cars over on Westzeedijk. One of the people who got out immediately turned aggressive and the police arrested him. While this was happening, another wedding guest got out of a car and punched a police officer in the head from behind. The officer lost consciousness and sustained a concussion, according to the police.

The aggressive man the police initially tried to arrest ran away, but officers caught up to him quickly. Two other men were also arrested, including the groom. The man suspected of knocking the cop out is still at large.

On Sunday the police said that the injured police officer is still in a lot of pain, but is doing well under the circumstances. The police thanked the public for messages of support for the police officer.

His wife wrote an open letter about the incident, which was published in RTV Rijnmond on Sunday. "You who struck my husband from behind, please be a real man", she wrote. "Turn yourself in. Take responsibility." The cop's wife is furious about what happened. "They were already 40 against 1. At least have the guts to come from the front." She also called on witnesses to come forward. "So that the suspect can be arrested and we can give this a place."

According to the officer's wife, he still hasn't recovered and can't sleep because of the pain. Their three children are also having a hard time, she said.

On closed Facebook groups, many police officers expressed anger about these incidents, Erwin Koenen of police union ACP said to NOS. The union called violence against first responders and aid workers completely unacceptable. According to ACP, perpetrators of such crimes should be punished with prison sentences, instead of the current norm of community service.