Man from Uddel suspected of shooting Apache combat helicopter released
The 52-year-old man from Uddel who was arrested on Thursday because he allegedly shot an Apache combat helicopter with a firearm has been released. The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee reported that the man remains suspected of endangering an aircraft and making threats. The investigation is ongoing.
The arrest came after a helicopter pilot reported being shot at mid-air Thursday morning. The helicopter then landed safely at Gilze-Rijen Air Base. The suspect reportedly fired from his own property. "Damage was found on the helicopter," a spokesperson Marechaussee said. "Further investigations will show whether it was a possible shoot-down."
According to the spokesperson, the suspect was arrested around 6 p.m. on Thursday. "We tracked down the suspect after receiving a threat by mail and based on other signals," the spokesperson said. As a result the suspect's house was searched.
In De Telegraaf, relatives of the 52-year-old man from Uddel reported that the he has been in dispute with the Ministry of Defense for years over low-flying helicopters. The man keeps cattle as a hobby, and these animals are said to be frightened by the helicopters.
After the incident, Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren called it "very worrying" on Thursday that Dutch soldiers were fired upon in their own country.
Reporting by ANP