The 26-year-old woman went to the police after her 29-year-old husband became violent, threatening her and her young child - and she fled from the apartment, fearing for her life.
But when she spoke to the police she was in such a state that she mixed up her left and right when giving directions, and instead the police broke into her neighbour’s apartment with a battering ram.
The woman had even drawn police a sketch of where her apartment was in the St. Ruprecht area - but had mistakenly marked her neighbour’s door as her own. Unfortunately, neither of the doors had names or numbers on them.
She had given police her door key, which fitted her neighbour’s lock but didn’t turn - so the officers concluded that the door was locked from the inside and decided they would have to break in.
It was a nasty shock for the resident family of four, with two small children of their own. "Of course, they were frightened", police spokesman Rainer Dionisio said - adding that the police team quickly realised they were in the wrong apartment. He said that the police have since apologised and replaced the door to the apartment and that the family understood that it was an unfortunate mistake.
Dionisio said the police felt under pressure and wanted to act quickly as the violent man had beaten and attempted to strangle his wife, and had also threatened their three-year-old son, who she had left in the apartment when she escaped.
When the police did break into the correct apartment the boy was safe and well and the suspect was arrested and taken to the police station. He will be charged with assault.