A 71-year-old man has died after he and his dog were stabbed during an assault by several people on Wednesday evening in the Dutch city of Rotterdam.
The incident occurred shortly before 9 p.m. on the Molièreweg in Rotterdam-Lombardijen to the city’s south.
According to a police report, a gang assaulted the man on the street. He sustained a fatal stab wound, while his dog was also stabbed multiple times and left for dead.
Emergency responders were dispatched to the scene and tried to resuscitate the victim, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. His dog was taken away by an animal ambulance, and its condition is unknown.
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Police later announced that a 53-year-old Rotterdam resident had been arrested in connection with the incident, and an investigation into the man’s involvement in the attack is now underway.
Authorities are studying surveillance footage to ascertain the facts surrounding the attack after the majority of the perpetrators successfully fled the scene and remain at large.
Several local residents told the Rotterdam-based Algemeen Dagblad newspaper that the pensioner had lived in a ground-floor apartment in the Molière neighborhood for many years and had often been the subject of abuse from other residents.
Neighbors speaking to the press under the condition of anonymity explained that younger residents are generally not a problem, but so-called “temporary residents” who had recently moved into the area had become a nuisance.
According to the local residents, a cohort of temporary residents had been allocated accommodation near the victim’s home.
“There are no problems here with the young people from the neighborhood, but those temporary residents cause a lot of misery. They are barely supervised, and something happens every week,” one local resident told the newspaper.
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“My children don’t look up when the police enter the street. I don’t want my children to grow up here,” another added.
The Netherlands has not been impervious to the asylum crisis affecting Europe, and Rotterdam has received a sizeable number of migrants entering the country in the past two years.
With social services saturated in the region, the Dutch government chartered another cruise ship to accommodate up to 1,500 new arrivals in the city’s port in June.
The working-class city has long been infamous for the sizeable presence of organized crime, particularly in the drug trade, which has been exacerbated in recent times due to an influx of Moroccan immigration.