By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor
A woman from the USA has told how a group of Syrian refugees helped her during the shocking amount of sexual assaults that occurred on New Year’s Eve in Cologne, Germany.
The victim, 28-year-old Caitlin Duncan, a student from Seattle had lost her boyfriend in the crowded square outside the main railway station and cathedral. She told of a man robbing her hat then another “grabbed” her from behind, rifling through her pockets. If that wasn’t enough a third man attempted to kiss her neck and face.
Luckily, she managed to escape and gained the attention of the police, but they were too busy trying to control the crowd and pushed he back into the throng, shockingly another group of men began to grope her and pulled at her hair.
She said: “I went into a kind of fighting mode, and kicked and hit and pushed until I got away. I was getting really scared.”
It was at this point that she was approached by a group of Syrian refugees who offered to help her, they formed a cordon around her and walked her through the mob. They also offered to phone her partner and sent out a search party as he wasn’t contactable. The couple were eventually reunited in the station later in the evening.
One of the group who helped Caitlin was Hesham Ahmad Mohammad, a 32-year-old primary school teacher who fled Aleppo.
He believes the groups committing the attacks, had “lost their minds” on drink and drugs. Hesham said: “We keep hearing news about refugees all day: They are bad people, they must go back to their home.
“When I hear that in the news, I am sad. Because we know that there were bad boys and bad people. But the good people, nobody speaks about them.”
Ms Duncan said she and Mr Mohammad are now friends and speak regularly, adding: “In the end it turned out really well.”
This piece of good news aside, it can’t be ignored that police said that asylum seekers were among the group of 1,000 men, mostly of “North African origin,” who carried out the spree of sickening attacks. 751 people have filed 676 criminal complaints relating to the events of New Year’s Eve in Cologne, of which 347 were of sexual assault. Out of 19 main suspects being investigated, 10 are asylum seekers, and the hunt for the criminals in on-going.
Watch video (below) of some reaction to the events in Cologne