Grinning Army Officer Blasts Off Soldiers Testicle

Story ByMichael Leidig, Sub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyCentral European News

An Austrian officer who smiled as he blasted off an army recruits testicle when he shot him with a loaded gun has been fined.

The court in the Austrian city of Graz in Styria heard that the 26-year-old, who was not named, had believed that the gun, a Glock pistol, was unloaded when he pointed it at the soldier’s groin area “with a smile”.

When he pulled the trigger, however, the loaded weapon fired a bullet which shot off one of the young man’s testicles, and he needing emergency surgery to save the rest of his genitals.

The accused commanding officer who has since left the army told the court that when he shot the gun at the 20-year-old cadet during the accident at the Mickl barracks in the spa town of Bad Radkersburg, that he had removed all the bullets.

Asked why the mistake was made he said: “I was tired or I forgot.” He said he went to the gun cabinet planning to put the weapon inside, and the gun went off by mistake while it was in his hands, hitting at random one of the recruits.

Austria still has compulsory military service and several of the new recruits aged 20 were in the area at the time.

However, the recruit himself said it was not an accidental discharge. He said he can still remember the moment that the “grinning” commander had pointed the weapon in his direction and pulled the trigger with a smile. He said: “He then shouted out ‘Christ, I didn’t realise it was still loaded’ and threw the pistol away.”

Speaking about the incident the recruit added: “I still have problems sleeping as a result of what happens, and I’m getting psychological counselling.”

He pleaded guilty to gross negligence leading to assault and was fined 1,200 EUR (1,024 GBP) and also given a four-month suspended sentence.

Passing the verdict the judge Oliver Graf said: “Anybody who takes a loaded weapon into an area set aside as a living space is grossly negligent.”

He added: “The most important thing is that there was no death.”

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