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Armed fare-dodger jailed for 12 years

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Armed fare-dodger jailed for 12 years
This is not the weapon used by the perpetrator. Photo: Police
17:07 CEST+02:00
An Austrian man trying to evade police after being caught without a ticket in Zürich in 2013 was jailed this week for pulling a gun on his pursuers and firing several shots.

The 49-year-old man, originally from Villach in the Austrian province of Carinthia, had a residence permit in Switzerland.  In February 2013, he was caught by fare inspectors traveling on a bus in Zürich without a ticket.

He was confronted by the inspectors, who raised the alarm with police when the man refused to cooperate or identify himself.  When officers arrived, the man absconded.

The police gave chase, when the man suddenly pulled out a pistol and fired five shots at the police.  Fortunately, no one was injured.

Eventually, the man barricaded himself inside the home of a retired couple, compounding his crimes with charges of illegal imprisonment.  

After threatening the pensioners with his weapon, he stole the woman's bike, and continued his escape on two wheels.

Police eventually tracked him down some hours later, and arrested him.

The man claimed in court this week that he had the weapon with him because he was planning to sell it to another man.  He was under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and acted without thinking out of fear and panic, and never wanted to hurt anyone.

In the Zürich district court this week, the 49-year-old Austrian has been found guilty of multiple attempts at homicide, multiple counts of endangering life & liberty and weapon-related offenses.  He has been sentenced to twelve years' imprisonment and outpatient therapy for his addiction issues.

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