Yesterday, a deranged man threatened a number of children with a knife in the schoolyard of De Vierspan primary school in Grootebroek. 12-year-old Norah Boogaard was also hit in the face by the man. “He then took his knife and said he was going to slowly kill her,” a shocked father Roy told WEFF/NH News. A 24-year-old man has been arrested by the police. His knife has been confiscated.
Twelve-year-old Norah was playing with some friends in the De Vierspan school yard in Grootebroek yesterday when a confused man suddenly walked into the square. He threatened several children with a knife.
When the man walked up to the playing Norah, he punched her a few times in the face. Then he drew his knife and threatened her. “He also said he was going to kill her slowly,” says Roy, Norah’s father. “Norah is very shocked by this. She is crying and surprised that an adult has gone up to her to threaten her with a knife. She has told us that she no longer dares to play outside. And now she dares to go at school. “not anymore. Like us, she is very traumatized by this.”
Roy has reported the assault and the threat. He encourages spectators to do the same. “I would like anyone who knows anything about this man to go to the police. Then hopefully something can be done about it, because it hasn’t happened so far.”
Not the first time
A complaint has already been lodged against this man earlier, says Roy. He was then arrested by the police, but was released after a day due to insufficient evidence.
“The man is known to GGZ. This is not the first time this has happened. The neighbors have already complained about it several times, but also people from the area”, says Roy. “He literally lives a few meters from the school yard.”
Roy: “We hope something can be done about it now. We don’t have to wait until it really goes wrong. It could have been prevented if nothing had been done earlier.”
Suspect released again
A bystander was able to intervene during the assault and threat and remove the distraught man from Norah. “That way she could have prevented the worse,” Roy said. “We’re super happy she was able to sort of save the situation. My ex-wife went to see her this afternoon with Norah to thank her.”
The suspect was arrested by the police yesterday. A spokesperson confirms to WEFF/NH News that it is a 24-year-old man from Grootebroek. A knife was also seized. He was released today. Victim support has been offered to Norah.
Letter to parents in nursery school
Staff and children in the adjacent daycare center, Berend Botje, did not see the incident. Principal Gaby Alberts says that at the time they were inside the home and did not have a view of the schoolyard. Alberts is shocked by the incident.
“It’s very sad what happened,” she says. “The children who were there were therefore very shocked. As a crisis center we had contact with a municipal manager and the municipality today. In addition, we have sent all parents a letter to fully inform them and tell them that we are working with the children to talk .”
Safer school yard environment
Director Durk Stoker from De Vierspan primary school is also shocked by what happened yesterday in his school yard. “It’s terrible that this happened,” Stoker said.
Like Alberts, Stoker says he wants to start a conversation to see how they can make the schoolyard a safer environment for the kids. “We will also look at good supervision so that the children can safely play outside during school hours.” He also says that he hopes that the children will be able to get good guidance in primary school and day care after the holidays.
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