A tragedy struck the quiet town of Leek in the early hours of New Year’s Day when a 52-year-old man, Bert Suurd, lost his life after being assaulted by a group of teenagers. According to the Dagblad van het Noorden, Bert, an ICT worker and a volunteer at the local ice hockey club GIJS Groningen, was walking his dog on Windsingel street when he encountered the group who were throwing fireworks at his canine companion.
He asked them to stop, but they responded with violence. They beat him up on the street, kicking and punching him, even in the head. Bert, despite his injuries, managed to make his way back home, but tragically succumbed to his wounds shortly after. His partner and their children, who were waiting for him, witnessed his tragic end. The couple was planning to get married soon.
The brutal act of violence has sent shockwaves through the Leek community, particularly at GIJS Groningen, where Bert was a respected and beloved member.
Police swiftly arrested an 18-year-old suspect from Leek in connection with the assault. They are currently investigating whether Bert’s death was directly caused by the attack and determining the extent of the other youths’ involvement. Authorities are also appealing to witnesses and requesting any available camera footage that could aid their investigation.
The quiet neighborhood of Windsingel street, known for its large, detached houses, has been left shaken by this incident. A neighbor recounted past experiences of youths throwing fireworks at dogs, raising concerns about a pattern of irresponsible behavior.
As the community grapples with this tragic loss, the image of Bert, a kind and selfless man, stands in stark contrast to the senseless violence that took his life. Leek residents say they hope for a resolution that brings justice for Bert and sends a clear message against violence and brutality.
Image: Google (2022) Leek, Groningen. Available at: https://www.google.com/maps (Accessed: 3 January 2024).