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Old 14.10.2020, 02:55
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Possible attempt at an assoult

Hello everyone,

the following happened yesterday:

While I was sitting on a bench in a park, at around 5 pm, two guys set to either side of me while 4 others encircled the bench. They started mocking me, and they shifted around to keep me surrounded as stood up and tried to leave. I simply said that I don't speak German, and quickly went through a gap between them. They followed, shouting and throwing rocks at me, but we were near enough to a street and they didn't follow there. They looked definitely younger than 18, around 15 I would say.

I have a couple of questions with regards to the event:

1. Is there any use in reporting this to the police? This was in a smaller place in the Zurich Kanton. It wasn't that bad, I am just shocked that it would happen in broad daylight, in a place where there are almost always people.

2. If I wasn't allowed to leave, what do the laws of Switzerland say about self-defense in such a situation? Especially from the point of view of them being children, if I was to injure them?
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Old 14.10.2020, 08:01
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Re: Possible attempt at an assoult

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Hello everyone,

the following happened yesterday:

While I was sitting on a bench in a park, at around 5 pm, two guys set to either side of me while 4 others encircled the bench. They started mocking me, and they shifted around to keep me surrounded as stood up and tried to leave. I simply said that I don't speak German, and quickly went through a gap between them. They followed, shouting and throwing rocks at me, but we were near enough to a street and they didn't follow there. They looked definitely younger than 18, around 15 I would say.

I have a couple of questions with regards to the event:

1. Is there any use in reporting this to the police? This was in a smaller place in the Zurich Kanton. It wasn't that bad, I am just shocked that it would happen in broad daylight, in a place where there are almost always people.

2. If I wasn't allowed to leave, what do the laws of Switzerland say about self-defense in such a situation? Especially from the point of view of them being children, if I was to injure them?
Maybe you should have whipped out your phone & recorded it...I would report it.
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Old 14.10.2020, 08:58
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Re: Possible attempt at an assoult

if you wern´t recording and they were too busy chucking stones then slap the little scrotes until you get tired.
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Old 14.10.2020, 09:26
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Re: Possible attempt at an assoult

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Hello everyone,

the following happened yesterday:

While I was sitting on a bench in a park, at around 5 pm, two guys set to either side of me while 4 others encircled the bench. They started mocking me, and they shifted around to keep me surrounded as stood up and tried to leave. I simply said that I don't speak German, and quickly went through a gap between them. They followed, shouting and throwing rocks at me, but we were near enough to a street and they didn't follow there. They looked definitely younger than 18, around 15 I would say.

I have a couple of questions with regards to the event:

1. Is there any use in reporting this to the police? This was in a smaller place in the Zurich Kanton. It wasn't that bad, I am just shocked that it would happen in broad daylight, in a place where there are almost always people.

2. If I wasn't allowed to leave, what do the laws of Switzerland say about self-defense in such a situation? Especially from the point of view of them being children, if I was to injure them?
Why do you think they were randomly targeting you, was it racially motivated? Where was this park?
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Old 14.10.2020, 09:42
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Re: Possible attempt at an assoult

Perhaps you were sitting on ‘their’ bench?
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Old 14.10.2020, 10:43
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Re: Possible attempt at an assoult

That occurred to me, but I think that any type of provocation would have been unwise. Don't think that they were particularly worried about being filmed or seen either.
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Old 14.10.2020, 10:45
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Re: Possible attempt at an assoult

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Why do you think they were randomly targeting you, was it racially motivated? Where was this park?
There couldn't have been a racial motiv, as far as I remember we were all of the same race. This was in Dietikon.
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Old 14.10.2020, 10:53
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Re: Possible attempt at an assoult

Oddly common in some areas... was walking with some colleagues on Langstrasse a few weeks ago, and two guys started verbally abusing and following one of the guys in our team (in French).

I've also hear of a few people complaining about jogging by the Limmat that they were followed, and in some cases groped.

Zurich isn't as safe as it used to be...
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Old 14.10.2020, 10:57
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Re: Possible attempt at an assoult

I'd go to the police, you can report a formal crime or just tip off the officers that some kids are behaving badly. See if you can remember what some of them looked like, did they have any distinctive clothing like a jacket etc as this will help. But it sounds sinister, intimidating you and then throwing rocks, what if the next person they target isn't as good as you at getting away or a rock hits an eye etc?
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Old 14.10.2020, 11:10
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Re: Possible attempt at an assoult

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I think that any type of provocation would have been unwise.
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I simply said that I don't speak German, and quickly went through a gap between them.
It sounds like you reacted as well as you could at the time. Wise not to exacerbate the situation. Even so, if that had happened to me I'd have felt very shaken!

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Is there any use in reporting this to the police? This was in a smaller place in the Zurich Kanton. It wasn't that bad, I am just shocked that it would happen in broad daylight, in a place where there are almost always people.
Yes, it's worth reporting it. Not for you to achieve anything, right now, i.e. not to lay charges against a group of unknown teenagers, and not for you to look for compensation or anything along those lines. It won't work that way. But it is worth the effort for two reasons:

1. If, after some days or weeks, you find that you have any symptoms as a result of this incident, be they physical symptoms (if you were actually hit by one of the rocks they threw at you) or any psychological symptoms (such as troublesome recurring memories), then you can appeal to the Victims' Help Organisation, Opferberatungsstelle. https://www.obzh.ch/uber-uns/. If you need any treatment, you will have the date of the incident set in your report to the police.

2. If others have already complained about similar incidents, then each new piece of evidence can help the police to work out who those young people are, and then they can decide how to get involved to prevent, as far as possible, a group of youngsters shifting from silly pranks into serious criminality. The police may go by and give them a serious talking-to, which can be effective in turning things back onto the right track. To get close to being able to do this, the police need to have the information about what happened.
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Old 14.10.2020, 11:22
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Re: Possible attempt at an assoult

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It sounds like you reacted as well as you could at the time. Wise not to exacerbate the situation. Even so, if that had happened to me I'd have felt very shaken!


Yes, it's worth reporting it. Not for you to achieve anything, right now, i.e. not to lay charges against a group of unknown teenagers, and not for you to look for compensation or anything along those lines. It won't work that way. But it is worth the effort for two reasons:

1. If, after some days or weeks, you find that you have any symptoms as a result of this incident, be they physical symptoms (if you were actually hit by one of the rocks they threw at you) or any psychological symptoms (such as troublesome recurring memories), then you can appeal to the Victims' Help Organisation, Opferberatungsstelle. https://www.obzh.ch/uber-uns/. If you need any treatment, you will have the date of the incident set in your report to the police.

2. If others have already complained about similar incidents, then each new piece of evidence can help the police to work out who those young people are, and then they can decide how to get involved to prevent, as far as possible, a group of youngsters shifting from silly pranks into serious criminality. The police may go by and give them a serious talking-to, which can be effective in turning things back onto the right track. To get close to being able to do this, the police need to have the information about what happened.
Thanks a lot for the reply!
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Old 14.10.2020, 12:17
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Re: Possible attempt at an assoult

Yes, please report it. And quickly. If there is any CCTV then it may be wiped within a few days. The police generally will know if they are repeat offenders.
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Old 14.10.2020, 12:29
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Re: Possible attempt at an assoult

Definitely report it. It’s important that they have it on their record (if they can be identified) should they continue to act in such a way. Your report might help the next person out.

If memory serves you have the right to use equivalent or lesser force to protect your physical well-being. It can be difficult depending on the situation to prove afterwards that you used appropriate force and were in real danger—as a woman it is usually easier. De-escalation is always ideal and it sounds like you did an excellent job of that.
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Old 14.10.2020, 14:05
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Re: Possible attempt at an assoult

I would report it. They are probably getting off feeling powerful and building up the confidence to commit more serious crimes i.e. stealing your phone while they're at it and throw a punch in your face just for fun. In a few years when they start snorting coke they will probably end up killing somebody. Unfortunately it looks like the area is becoming a breeding ground for youth gangs.
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Old 14.10.2020, 15:50
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Re: Possible attempt at an assoult

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Definitely report it. It’s important that they have it on their record (if they can be identified) should they continue to act in such a way. Your report might help the next person out.

If memory serves you have the right to use equivalent or lesser force to protect your physical well-being. It can be difficult depending on the situation to prove afterwards that you used appropriate force and were in real danger—as a woman it is usually easier. De-escalation is always ideal and it sounds like you did an excellent job of that.
Article 15 says
"If any person is unlawfully attacked or threatened with imminent
attack, the person attacked and any other person are entitled to ward
off the attack by means that are reasonable in the circumstances. "
Article 16 says
"1 If a person in defending himself exceeds the limits of self-defence as
defined in Article 15 and in doing so commits an offence, the court
shall reduce the sentence.
2 If a person in defending himself exceeds the limits of self-defence as
a result of excusable excitement or panic in reaction to the attack, he
does not commit an offence."
(From translation available here)
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Old 14.10.2020, 15:59
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Re: Possible attempt at an assoult

Would have made mental notes of clothing, features, etc, and gone immediately to Police to report. They could have sent patrol out and probably would have found them. But I'd still report it today- make notes of naything you remember. If they have done it to you, itis likely they have done, and will do, the same to others. The Police probably know about them already and need more evidence. Way out of order and scary. BTW are you male or female - and circa age group?
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Old 14.10.2020, 17:17
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Re: Possible attempt at an assoult

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1. Is there any use in reporting this to the police?

Yes, definitely, for all the reasons discussed above. Even it it doesn't help your case, it may help the next person that may find itself in your situation


Btw, this is not "possible attempt at assault". Being verbally abused and thrown stones at IS an assault.
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Old 14.10.2020, 21:32
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Re: Possible attempt at an assoult

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Would have made mental notes of clothing, features, etc, and gone immediately to Police to report. They could have sent patrol out and probably would have found them. But I'd still report it today- make notes of naything you remember. If they have done it to you, itis likely they have done, and will do, the same to others. The Police probably know about them already and need more evidence. Way out of order and scary. BTW are you male or female - and circa age group?
Male, early twenties, not really a group that you would associate which such events.

I would like to thank you all for the replies, I did indeed go to the police. They said that there were no similar reports, at least not recently, and they filed some sort of general report. Having no definite suspect (my descriptions were, of course, far from unique identifiers), they said that more can't be done at the moment. Maybe it will help sometime in the future...
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Old 15.10.2020, 10:25
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Re: Possible attempt at an assoult

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Male, early twenties, not really a group that you would associate which such events.

I would like to thank you all for the replies, I did indeed go to the police. They said that there were no similar reports, at least not recently, and they filed some sort of general report. Having no definite suspect (my descriptions were, of course, far from unique identifiers), they said that more can't be done at the moment. Maybe it will help sometime in the future...
Great that you made the report, for the reasons other people have said above.

To me, it sounds like a little mob of hooligans who are asserting dominance over their "territory", since you probably look close enough to their age for them to want to intimidate you. Could also just be 'bored' school kids on holidays ... the second week is usually worse than the first for that.
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