Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Hunt Still on for Swiss Chainsaw Attack Suspect | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55379552

Police and ambulance cars are seen in the old quarter of Schaffhausen in northern Switzerland on July 24, after a man armed with a chainsaw injured at least five people in an attack. (AFP)

A massive manhunt was underway at the Swiss-German border on Tuesday in search for the suspect behind a chainsaw attack in the Swiss town of Schaffhausen on Monday.

All-night searches for the suspect, 51-year-old Franz Wrousis, accused of attacking two employees of a health insurance company in their office in Schaffhausen’s old town on Monday morning, were unsuccessful, Swiss police said in a statement.

Schaffhausen prosecutor Peter Sticher told reporters that the attacker had a grievance with the firm.

Five people in total were wounded in the assault, which was not deemed as terrorist by the police.

Two customers were treated for shock after they witnessed the attack, and another person was slightly injured during the subsequent police operation. Four of the five injured have left the hospital; one company employee, who was severely injured, is still in the hospital, but not in life-threatening condition.

Police described Wrousis as dangerous, aggressive and mentally unstable. They warned that he may be armed and asked witnesses to contact police immediately when they see him and to keep away from him. They also put out an international arrest warrant.

Officers said Wrousis had no fixed address and reportedly has spent significant time living in a forest.

A local official in Zurich canton, Ruedi Karrer, told the 20Minuten website he had seen Wrousis in the Uhwiesen forest while walking his dog and believed the suspect had been staying there for about two weeks.

Several other residents told the site they had also passed by Wrousis in the forest — about two kilometers from Schaffhausen — and that his behavior had been threatening.

“This is a dangerous and aggressive man,” the chief of security in Schaffhausen, Ravi Landoldt, told reporters. “This was not his first contact with police.”

The suspect was convicted in 2014 and again in 2016 for weapons offenses, police said.

Schaffhausen, a town of about 36,000 people north of Zurich, is near the Swiss-German border.
On Monday afternoon, police found a white Volkswagen minivan that the suspect was believed to be driving. They did not elaborate on its condition or say if anything else was found in it.

Police also published several photos of the man; the latest of which they said was taken shortly before his attack on the CSS insurance office. It shows a tall, balding man with short brown hair walking along a street in a green jacket carrying a large black bag, which they said may have contained the chainsaw.