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Berlin police arrest suspect in subway attack

December 17, 2016

Police in Berlin have arrested the man suspected of kicking a woman down a flight of stairs at a subway station. Video of the senseless act of violence went viral and led to a massive outcry for the suspect's arrest.

Berlin Überwachungskamera U-Bahn Hermannstraße - Angriff auf Frau
Image: Polizei Berlin

Shocking video of woman being kicked in Berlin

The 27-year-old man wanted for a brutal attack on a woman in a subway station was arrested by German police on Saturday, authorities said.

The suspect, whose name was not given, was detained at Berlin's long-distance bus station while he was still seated on a bus, Berlin police said in a statement posted on Twitter.

The man had just arrived in the German capital on a bus that originated from southern France, said a spokesperson with the Berlin prosecutor's office.

In a CCTV video of the attack, which took place on October 27, a man clutching a beer bottle followed a woman walking down subway stairs.

Outrage over attack

He then raised his leg and kicked the woman in the middle of her back, sending her face-first down the flight of stairs at Berlin's Hermannstraße metro stop. The man and a group of his companions then walked away while bystanders at the bottom of the stairs rushed to assist the 26-year-old victim.

She had to be hospitalized following the attack and suffered a broken arm.

The shocking video sparked international outrage, with several people offering rewards for the man's arrest.

Police issued a warrant for the man's arrest on Thursday. Authorities are also investigating two of the suspect's brothers and an acquaintance who were present during the attack.

German media identified the main suspect as a Bulgarian and believed he had fled back to his home country.

Quoting the Bulgarian newspaper "Nova," the German daily "Bild" newspaper reported that the man had lived near the Bulgarian resort town of Varna with his wife and three children. The man had been working at a Berlin construction site for the last few months, "Bild" reported.

He was already known to police in Bulgaria for theft, robbery and hooliganism, according to a Bulgarian television station.

rs/jm (AFP, dpa)