A middle aged woman had to be hospitalised in Vienna following a brutal beating in broad daylight by a veiled Somali asylum seeker offended by her pet dogs.
The victim, named only as Ingrid T., described how she was talking with neighbours at the gate of her garden, accompanied by dogs — her deaf, almost-blind, three-legged Collie mix “sitting peacefully” alongside while 10-month-old ‘Poco’ meandered along an alleyway towards her parents’ house — when she “saw a pretty, veiled woman approaching slowly.”
“I knew some people from these countries do not like dogs, so I went to Poco and wanted to pull him back,” the 54-year-old told Krone from her hospital bed in the Austrian capital.
The 18-year-old Somali asserted, “The animals are unclean,” Ingrid recalled, stating that her attacker then “grabbed me, spun me around and scratched me” until both women fell to the floor.
It took the efforts of three men to manage to pull the asylum seeker away from the Austrian dog owner, who told Krone the assault left her unable to feel her legs.
Staff at Wilhelminen Hospital had to operate twice on Ingrid who — her knee smashed in the attack — required an artificial knee to be surgically implanted.
The Vienna native told Krone she believed her ordeal came about as a result of clashing cultures, revealing that she had heard the Somali’s husband say: “We don’t want dogs — they are filthy!”
With her recovery expected to take a long time, and the migrant attacker lacking any type of liability insurance, Ingrid’s lawyer said it is unclear who will pay for damages caused, and noted “This will probably be a precedent.”
As NGOs and taxpayer-funded rescue missions ferry thousands of Africans from the Libyan coast to Italy each week, Austria has repeatedly called for Europe to close the Mediterranean route, warning that the nation will impose border checks and deploy soldiers on its frontier with Italy if the influx does not slow.
Local media reported this week that moves by the nation to secure its border look to be justified after the director of the Italian Refugee Council, Christopher Hein, threatened to send tens of thousands of migrants to Austria.
“Let us welcome every ship, our ports wide open for the refugees and then, with buses and trains at our disposal, we will send the majority of the people to [Austria’s] Brenner Pass, and to Ventimiglia where they can cross to France,” he declared, appearing on German television.