In Dietzenbach, Hesse, around 50 people are said to have ambushed and thrown stones at an ambush. The emergency services were called to a fire in Dietzenbach in the Offenbach district at night, where an excavator and garbage cans had apparently been set on fire, the police said. The officers and the firefighters were then thrown at stones. "We assume that the fires were only set up to attract the emergency services," said a spokesman. 

The police then requested further assistance and also a police helicopter. She is assuming a prepared action, since the group of attackers had laid out piles of stones. The argument lasted about two hours. According to the police, three men were temporarily arrested. Two of them had disrupted the operation and had not followed orders, the third was a presumed stone thrower. To the best of our knowledge, no one was injured. Several emergency vehicles were damaged. The police initially estimated the property damage to be at least 150,000 euros.

Hesse's Interior Minister Peter Beuth (CDU) also spoke of an ambush , according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . "A dozen emergency vehicles were damaged, so it is a miracle that no helper was injured," he said. "Obviously, around 50 violent criminals ambushed our forces last night." He strongly condemned the attacks and spoke of an "underhanded act". The perpetrators should have been severely punished: "Whoever attacks emergency services belongs in prison." The police presence in Dietzenbach is now increased. It cannot be ruled out that there are connections to recent crimes. However, the background is still unclear.

According to the police union, ambushes against emergency services are not an isolated case. "We have been watching this for a long time," said the state chairman of the police union in Hesse, Andreas Grün. However, it is not common for a group of around 50 people to attack officials.   

"Such excesses can no longer be tolerated"

"This is far more than just a riot. Here, emergency services are deliberately put at risk or even injured. Such excesses can no longer be tolerated," said Heini Schmitt, state chairman of the civil service association and tariff union (dbb) Hessen. Such events would have to be followed up and punished by the judiciary in order to have a deterrent effect.

The incident in Dietzenbach was the second serious attack on emergency services within a week. Last Sunday, a man in Frankfurt dropped a 20 kg flower bucket from the Eiserner Steg onto a policewoman who just missed her. "For us, this act was clearly an attempt to inflict serious injuries on the colleague or to kill her," said Schmitt.

According to hessenschau.de, the Spessart settlement is a social hotspot. Recently, police officers searched over 200 bicycles and other high-quality items when they searched the basement of the high-rise complex. The alleged stolen goods were carried away by the police in four truckloads. According to the report, it is part of the investigation whether there is any connection with the later attack.

Violence against police officers is increasing

The Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) had only reported on Thursday about a new increase in violence against police officers in Germany. According to the federal situation report on violence against police officers, 36,126 cases were registered last year. That was around 3,000 cases or 8.6 percent more than in 2018. For example, emergency personnel are thrown at with firecrackers or attacked with iron bars. The number of police officers who were victims of attacks also increased. In 2019 there were 69,466 officials. Compared to 2018 (65,896 victims), an increase of 5.4 percent was registered.

In Hesse, police officers, firefighters and paramedics are increasingly exposed to physical violence. From a purely statistical point of view, there were five to six attacks on police officers per day in 2019 alone. A total of 2,052 such acts of violence were recorded, as can be seen from the Hessian Ministry of the Interior's response to a state parliament request from the AfD MPs Dirk Gaw and Klaus Herrmann in April.