A group of five men suspected of involvement with the death of a 32-year-old man in the Assen neighbourhood of Peelo have been released from police custody.
Translation by Traci White
This story has been updated with the most recent developments as of 8 a.m. on Monday, 26 August.
Dagblad van het Noorden reports that the police are still investigating the man’s exact cause of death, but is has been confirmed that the 32-year-old Assen man died at the scene after he was accused of having molested a four-year-old girl on the playground. Five men between the ages of 27 and 54, who are also from Assen, were in police custody over the weekend, but were released on Sunday night – the men are still suspected of involvement with the man’s death.
On Saturday, RTV Drenthe reports that the police received a report of an alleged case of child molestation at a playground in the Assen neighbourhood of Peelo. The man who was believed to have inappropriately touched a four-year-old girl reportedly tried to bike away from the scene, but the girl’s father apparently sought to keep him from leaving. The two men apparently ended up in a physical altercation, and four other men came over to try and keep the man under control until police arrived. When the cops showed up, the man was already dead.
On Sunday, police officers and municipal employees spoke with witnesses, residents of the neighbourhood and the suspects about the violent incident. RTV Drenthe writes that the police are investigating both the molestation allegation and the murder as separate cases, as well as reviewing recent reports of children being molested or assaulted in the vicinity.
Assen Mayor Marco Out, who spent hours at the scene of the crime on Saturday, told the Dagblad that the “extremely serious incident has had a huge impact on everyone involved.” The mayor said that professional help would be available in the neighbourhood: NOS writes that due to the prolonged summer weather conditions, there were likely many people present in the park at the time of the incident.