Cops had to disperse a mob of around 400 youngsters with pepper spray at a public swimming pool after the youths ganged up on a dad who told them off.
The incident took place at the Rheinbad Swimming Pool in Dusseldorf, capital of the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
According to eyewitness reports, the swimming pool was overcrowded on the hot summer day, especially with groups of youngsters.
Pictures Credit: CEN
Several bathers complained they felt harassed and threatened by a group of young men described by public broadcaster WDR as having “a North African appearance”.
Reports said that they were noisy, chased each other around the premises and jumped over people sunbathing on their towels.
Eyewitness Deniz Zumrut said: “There was a huge number of youngsters bothering everyone around.
“They had zero respect for older people who were there with their kids.”
The situation got out of hand when one of the youngsters almost fell onto a young family lying on their towels and the dad reportedly had to push him away and told him off.
The angry young man came back minutes later with a huge group of pals to confront the dad, according to local media.
Meanwhile, an increasing number of youngsters reportedly joined the mob to show their solidarity.
In the end, there were around 400 people surrounding the young family and stunned lifeguards immediately called the cops.
A police spokesman said: “Officers faced a group of several hundred people, mostly young men, who had surrounded the family and were screaming at them.
“The father stood in front of his family to protect them and was involved in verbal exchanges and a short tussle with mob members.”
According to local media, the youngsters turned their attentions to the cops and started to throw drinks containers at them, forcing them to call for back up.
Reports said that the police had to use pepper spray to restore order.
According to as yet unconfirmed reports, the mob became embroiled in disturbances outside the swimming pool after being dispersed by the cops, including on public transport.
No arrests have been made yet.
The police spokesman said: “According to our current information, nobody was injured by the fights or police action.”
The Federal Association of German Lifeguards warned about increasing violence at the country’s swimming pools.
Association president Peter Harzheim said: “The word ‘respect’ used to have a very different meaning to what it is today.”
Harzheim said that over the past 10 to 20 years, the atmosphere at German pools has become more aggressive.
President of the German Recreational Bathing Society, Christian Ochsenbauer, confirmed the situation.
He said: “I can only support the Federal Association of German Lifeguards that drastic measures need to be taken.”
Last week, two lifeguards and a 12-year-old girl were reportedly attacked by a mob at a swimming pool in Essen.
In the central state of Hesse, 200 people tried to storm a lakeside beach and pelted security guards with stones after the authorities temporarily closed the entrance due to overcrowding.
The ViralTab page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.