A U.S. Army employee living in Germany said that an attack by three men was not a “simple burglary” as he described it in detail for the first time.
Prosecutors said that the 41-year-old American, who hasn’t been named, was at home with his wife and three children when four men barged into their house in Landstuhl.
The man, a former Air Force major, said he was reading a bedtime story to his 5-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter when the doorbell rang.
Having only moved from New Mexico to the country four months ago, it was odd for someone to be calling on the family at night. It was dark downstairs and the man couldn’t see who it was, but he opened the door.
“Stupidly, I opened the door. They all rushed me,” the American told Stars and Stripes. He asked not to be identified by name for safety reasons.
The next 10 minutes was a fight for life as the man fought three attackers while the fourth rushed upstairs to attack his wife.
The American told Fox News via Facebook messenger that he saw one man at the door and opened it to see what he wanted.
That’s when three others appeared and the group attacked him.
“While I fought three in my entry, one got past and made it upstairs to where my wife and children were,” he said. “After I fought off the three, got them out of the door—that is when I got the kitchen knife and went upstairs to get the fourth attacker, who had tackled my wife and was strangling and pinning her down.”
The man said while he was fighting three of the men, he could hear his wife screaming upstairs and battling with the fourth.
This story’s all anyone’s talking about in the newsroom. Very vivid, frightful stuff. Makes me want to buy a bigger defensive weapon for my apartment. https://t.co/SMm0D0kkVN
— Chad Garland (@chadgarland) February 13, 2019
“She is screaming bloody murder, she’s screaming ‘my baby, my baby,’” he told Stars and Stripes. “The whole time I am swinging. I am pounding on anybody and everything that comes near me. I just fought like hell. I don’t know how I got the three guys back out the door.”
When he rushed upstairs with a kitchen knife he heard the man telling his wife “No talk” repeatedly in broken English. The attacker apparently heard the American coming.
“I can see him coming at me as soon as I get to the top of the stairs,” he said. “We collided in the doorway, scuffled right there in the door and into the hall at the top of the stairs. I think I got three stabs on him.”
The attacker fled, and the American slammed the door shut. German police officers rushed to the scene minutes later.
The four attackers fled but stopped about 10 miles southeast and laid the 43-year-old man who the American stabbed on the ground. Another suspect, the injured man’s 51-year-old brother, asked a passerby to call for medical help.
— Military Times (@MilitaryTimes) February 13, 2019
The injured man died and his brother was arrested. Both are German citizens. The two other suspects fled and are still on the loose.
An investigation has been launched that includes a probe into whether the American used excessive force.
Gino Mattorano, a spokesman for the U.S. Army’s Regional Health Command Europe, where the American is employed, told The Associated Press that it is fully cooperating with German investigators.
The man told Stars and Stripes that the officers who responded to the scene told him they would have done exactly what he did but the family was driven to a police station for questioning, with the American and his wife separated.
Prosecutor Iris Weingardt could not say how long the probe will take adding that facts needed to be gathered and “only then can a legal evaluation follow.”