Syrian refugee hailed as hero in Germany after saving woman from rapist

Justin Huggler
·2-min read
RASTATT, GERMANY - MAY 08: A German border police officer stops cars in a checkpoint of the D87 road at the German-French border during the coronavirus crisis on May 8, 2020 near Rastatt, Germany. The rates of new infections in both Germany and France, as in much of the European Union, have fallen dramatically over recent weeks, allowing governments to ease lockdown measures and strengthening demands by both business leaders and local communities to reopen international borders. In Germany so far Interior Minister Horst Seehofer is resisting a fast-paced lifting of border closures. (Photo by Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images) - Thomas Niedermueller/ Getty Images Europe
RASTATT, GERMANY - MAY 08: A German border police officer stops cars in a checkpoint of the D87 road at the German-French border during the coronavirus crisis on May 8, 2020 near Rastatt, Germany. The rates of new infections in both Germany and France, as in much of the European Union, have fallen dramatically over recent weeks, allowing governments to ease lockdown measures and strengthening demands by both business leaders and local communities to reopen international borders. In Germany so far Interior Minister Horst Seehofer is resisting a fast-paced lifting of border closures. (Photo by Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images) - Thomas Niedermueller/ Getty Images Europe

A Syrian refugee has been hailed as a hero in Germany after he stopped a man raping a woman.

The 30-year-old Syrian, named only as Faner O under German privacy laws, intervened after he saw a woman being attacked by a man in the early hours of Sunday morning.

With the help of another passerby, he overpowered the rapist and held him until police could reach the scene.  The rape victim, who has not been named, is understood to be a trainee police officer.

Faner O, who fled to Germany from his native Syria four years ago, works as a car mechanic in the west German city of Wuppertal. He  was driving home in the early hours of Sunday morning when he saw a woman being pursued by a man.

“It was around half past three in the morning. I had just dropped a friend off and was driving home to my wife and daughter, when I saw a woman walking along Friedrich-Engels-Allee and a man in a red T-shirt running after her. Then they disappeared into the bushes,” he told Bild newspaper.

Concerned, Faner O stopped his car and followed them into the bushes, where he found the man pinning the woman to the ground.

“He had one hand over her mouth and was choking her with the other. She was resisting, but he was very strong.”

The would-be rapist fled but Faner O gave chase. A 20-year-old passerby who had heard the sounds of struggle came to his help, and together they were able to overpower the perpetrator.

The rapist has not been named but is understood to be a 20-year-old Afghan migrant known to local police in connection with similar incidents.

The woman suffered only minor injuries, according to local police. “She fought hard and cried out for help. This alerted witnesses who rushed to her aid and drove off her attacker. They then gave chase and were able to seize him after a short pursuit. They held him until officers arrived,” police said in a statement.

Faner O said he was not afraid during the encounter. “At that moment I was only thinking of helping the woman,” he told Bild. “If something like that happened to my daughter, I’d want some one to help her.”