Octogenarians behaving badly in Austria
With the increasing amount of people living into their 80's and beyond, it's not surprising that a few old-timers occasionally exhibit behaviour we don't normally associate with the elderly. The Local takes a look at a few recent examples.
Growing Old Disgracefully
As a result of a dispute with his neighbour, an 85-year-old man living in the district of Braunau set up a booby-trap on his property. When he was visited by police recently, the trap was sprung, and a blank cartridge was discharged, injuring an officer's ear.
Last Friday, police were called to the man's neighbourhood because neighbours heard a gunshot.
Officers visited the man's house, and found that his door was ajar. They entered, and called several times to try to locate the 85-year-old. They received no answer, so continued looking, when suddenly one of the officers touched a trip wire, which was linked to an automatic firing device.
The policeman felt a sharp pain in his ear, and heard a sustained whistle. After checking carefully for further traps, police searched and found several other weapons on the property, including 12 long-barrelled and three handguns, all legally owned, and nearly 1,800 rounds of ammunition.
The elderly man also had in his possession a banned device, namely a silencer. Due to this find, as well as the booby-trap, local prosecutors have issued an immediate weapons ban on the man, and will likely be charging him with weapons-related offences.
In Radstandt (Pongau) police discovered an indoor cannabis plantation in the apartment of an 81-year-old local man. Although the find was only just reported by police, the discovery occurred in May. A total of 24 plants were seized, growing among tomato plants on his balcony.
In the course of investigations, police discovered that the elderly man's 20-year-old grandson was the mastermind behind the grow operation. As a result of filial affection, the grandfather had allowed his grandson to grow the plants among his own plantation of tomatoes, he told investigators.
Together they harvested approximately 1.5 kilos of marijuana with a street value of €15,000 (US$19,000). "The grandfather knew that this is illegal," said a police spokesman. "He has admitted that he allowed it out of kindness for his grandchildren."
An 81-year-old man has announced his engagement to a 24-year-old Playboy model. Earlier this week, a special wedding cake he had ordered was attacked by a man, and the marzipan bride from the top of the cake was snatched and eaten while people nearby watched in astonishment.
The elderly man's security detail then moved in and pounced on the man, who was handed over to police. It is not clear at this stage what charges, if any, he will face.
Sad Grandma, Mad Grandma
In the small town of Traun near Linz early in August, a tragedy unfolded within a family when an 83-year-old woman took a revolver, and shot her 28-year-old nephew in the back, then turned the gun on herself.
What started as a domestic argument escalated to the point of violence. The woman became so angry she seized the gun and shot at her nephew, who fled into the garden despite the injury he sustained. Police say that the woman then shot herself in the head. The woman died soon after in hospital, while the 28-year-old man was expected to survive after surgery.