The 1920s fell out of a window on the fourth floor. It’s four o’clock on Saturday night, on the edge of the Antwerp theater square. After several reports of noise disturbance, a police patrol arrived immediately. An unknown number of guys at the Ibis hotel across the street don’t care about curfew and are throwing a party. The Belgian authorities speak of a “party that has grown spontaneously” and, according to initial investigation procedures, apparently nothing indicates a pre-organized closing ceremony.
There is a mention of different people, eight in total, who booked several rooms and did not know each other. Damian R. (21 years old), from Dorn with Polish roots, was there with his girlfriend. The participating eight people got to know each other during the evening and decided to throw a party together.
The truth is that earlier that night, employees of the budget hotel would already receive compensation upstairs to no avail. If this does not work, the police will come to the scene. A sign of the eight little disappeared. Damian R runs to the window, opens it, tries to climb out and falls several meters. The scene was witnessed by several people, including the agents, according to Newsblad.
He died on the spot
The Antwerp Prosecutor’s Office announced Sunday morning that police inspectors had unsuccessfully attempted to resuscitate the victim. And the medical staff couldn’t do anything more than that. Damian R. must have been killed instantly by the heavy blow. “Other hotel guests, hotel staff and police officers concerned are deeply affected by the facts and can count on assistance from the Victim Support Service.”
The autopsy must show the extent of the victim’s exposure to the influence of some intoxicant. Whether the other seven in attendance will receive a Corona fine or will have to defend themselves later in police court is not a given yet.
On Sunday evening, Damien’s friends laid flowers in front of the Ibis Hotel. They also mourned together in silence.
The mayor of Antwerp was also shocked and spoke of the “tragic death of a young Antwerp resident”. “Since the inception of controls at lockdown parties, we have noticed that people try to avoid being examined by the police. However, the security services have our public interest and are there to help us when necessary. Police officers across this country have proven in the past year that they can do their tough job. With professionalism and integrity in exceptional circumstances. “
De Weaver links Damien R’s death to the consequences of the lockdown on young people’s mental health and hopes for a quiet social debate. The question is whether the fatal story can be included in this.
A survey in three other large student cities – Brussels, Leuven and Ghent – showed that in recent weeks there have been frequent refugees of police officers along rooftops and across parks. Last weekend in Borgerhout, for example, a woman on the run was injured in the shoulder when she tried to escape from the toilet window during an examination. In Brussels, a lockdown party attended by 88 people was suspended. Also in Ghent, the police had to come out several times on Saturday. In one place even twice.
Every cop’s nightmare
However, it seems like there have not suddenly been more lockdown parties with young people in recent weeks. It fluctuates from region to region, from weekend to weekend. The death of Damian R. It is the first in Belgium during such a banned ceremony. “Such an accident is a nightmare for every police officer on patrol,” said Ghent police spokesman Matto Langert.
The same voice in Leuven with speaker Matteo Caudron. “As an agent, you are always trying to enter into a quiet dialogue. Punishment will only follow in the second case. If they flee safely through a park or gate, this is a shame on us, but also the end of the inconvenience. What happened in Antwerp is of course extremely tragic for everyone involved.”
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