BERLIN (AP) — A man accused of disarming four police officers at gunpoint and hiding in Germany’s Black Forest for more than five days says he took no food when he fled, largely switched off his cellphone and spent his time in ditches and holes, authorities said Wednesday.
The 31-year-old suspect, Yves Rausch, was arrested on Friday after sightings by two witnesses.
The drama started the previous Sunday when police were alerted to a suspicious person carrying a bow and arrow. Officers conducted an ID check on the man at a hut where he had settled illegally. Officials have said Rausch initially cooperated but suddenly pulled a gun, threatening the officers and forcing them to hand over their service weapons. Nobody was injured.
The incident triggered a manhunt that involved more than 2,530 officers.
The suspect after his arrest said he had hurriedly packed the four weapons and other “essentials” and fled into the forest, police and prosecutors said in a statement Wednesday. He didn’t take food.
He said he noticed a police helicopter and assumed that a search was on, and largely deactivated his cellphone so that he couldn’t be located.
Rausch stayed in the forest around the small town of Oppenau in southwestern Germany for most of the time, moving mainly at night and sheltering in ditches and holes during the day, the statement said. “His dietary intake was limited mainly to water,” it said.
A document found on the suspect appears to be a personal letter he wrote to relatives in case something happened to him, police and prosecutors said.
Rausch lost his apartment last fall and had had no permanent address since then, authorities have said.
Wednesday’s statement didn’t cast new light on the reason for his actions. It said that, after giving extensive information immediately after his arrest, he remained silent in subsequent formal questioning and during an appearance last weekend before a judge.
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