German police have entered their third day of a manhunt for 31-year-old Yves Etienne Rausch, who is accused of pulling a firearm on four officers and disarming them during a police check.
Nicknamed “Forest Rambo” by German media, Rausch has been on the run in the area around the town of Oppenau in Baden-Württemberg since Sunday after he managed to disarm and allegedly confiscate pistols from four police officers by himself.
Believed to be dangerous, Rausch is said to be armed with a bow and arrow, a knife, and several pistols. He is also said to be equipped with camouflage clothing and night vision goggles, German tabloid Bild reports.
In a press release, local police described Rausch as standing 5’7″ tall, with a goatee, a bald head, and possibly wearing glasses. They also asked locals not to pick up any hitchhikers.
Police spokesman Wolfgang Kramer commented on the incident in which Rausch is said to have disarmed the officers, saying: “Suddenly he pulled his pistol and aimed at the officers. Completely surprised by the situation, they no longer had a chance to react to the dangerous situation.”
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After the incident, Rausch, who has been living in the area for years, fled into the forest. He has not been seen since, despite a manhunt involving over a hundred police officers who have blocked off roads and deployed helicopters and tracking dogs.
Rausch is said to have dozens of prior criminal convictions, including from 2010 when he was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for shooting a former girlfriend with a crossbow.
He has also been convicted of extortion, violating explosives legislation, possessing child pornography, theft, property damage, and serious bodily harm.
According to Bild, Rausch has been living in a hut on the edge of the forest. He is believed to be very familiar with the area.
Hubert Fischer, a local forester, told the newspaper: “I think the man we are looking for is familiar with the local conditions. He has ample opportunity here to hide and make him almost invisible!”
Fischer added that the forest had several sources of food Rausch could eat from game to wild strawberries and blueberries. “I think he can endure several days in the forest,” he said.
On Tuesday, an alleged manifesto was released by Rausch and sent to a local pub in Oppenau. Entitled “The Call of the Wild” it allegedly states: “In the forest, in the wilderness, people have one thing above all: time.”