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German police apprehend fugitive rapist who fled custody in Cologne brewery

The convicted rapist who evaded his minders during a visit to a Cologne brewery has been apprehended. The man was found in a bicycle store after three days on the run.

A spokesperson for the justice ministry in North Rhine-Westphalia confirmed Saturday that the 58-year-old man was arrested shortly after midday local time in Brühl, about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the central Cologne brewery from which he disappeared on Wednesday.

Police spokesperson Armin Denzin told the website of mass circulation German newspaper "Bild" that the wanted person was arrested by regular police forces.

"He made no resistance. There were no injuries," Denzin was quoted as saying.

After being convicted in 1991, the man was sentenced to nine years in prison. At the end of his sentence, courts ruled he was dangerous enough to warrant further preventative detention.

He had been taken to Cologne on Wednesday to visit the city's famous cathedral on what had started out as a routine excursion from his preventative detention facility in Aachen. He and his guards stopped at a beer hall near the cathedral, where the convict asked to use the restroom. That was the last his escorts saw of him.

Prison guards under investigation

The two prison guards who accompanied the convict are facing a criminal investigation for failing in their duty by letting him escape. Accounts differ as to whether the man was allowed to go to the toilet alone.

Justice ministry spokesman Marcus Strunk said Friday that the incident was "unacceptable" and would be fully investigated.

During the manhunt there were several alleged sightings of the fugitive, including a search by helicopter and hundreds of police of a riverside park in Bonn.

se/jlw (dpa, AP)

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