Two days ago here in Wiesbaden....we had one of those rare and unusual episodes unfold on a city bus. I need to state upfront....Wiesbaden is a fairly relaxed and non-hostile place....where your worst issue in the city is either stepping onto dog-poo or wasting thirty minutes to find a decent parking spot.
City bus pulls up in the mid-town area....picks up folks near 4:30PM on Tuesday afternoon. It's crowed and hectic. Kids are back into school, and every bus from 1:30 to 5:30 is fairly crowded with folks going home.
So, down on Doltsheimer Road, some disagreement of sorts erupts between two German guys (one is an older guy near sixty, and the other is mid-thirties) and six teens. The local press isn't clear about what the argument was over...maybe cursing....maybe loud voices....maybe pushing. But there is some commentary from the two German guys to the teens. A push or two erupts. Then a scuffle. The two German guys got the brunt of the attack by the teens....punching and scratching.
The bus driver sees the stuff unfolding....pulls over....and by the rules, opens the doors. The six punks? They run out and escape. Cops arrive, in fair numbers, and search the area.....finding nothing.
The rest of this story? The local press was very careful not to say this....but the six punks (three male juveniles and three female juveniles).....spoke English, and were likely high-school kids with the US Army Post here in Wiesbaden. The press avoided suggesting that....but we just don't have any British teens in the local area. Therefore, by default, these are American punk teens.
It leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Whatever happened on the bus got carried way out of hand, and these teens overreacted, with violent intent. My humble guess is that the basic description of the teens has been surveyed and sent onto the American Army here in town. Video? Oh my.....every single bus now has three cameras, and records every single event. So there's video tape of the episode, and some Army Provost Marshall guy will survey this and walk to the Hainerberg School director's office to ID the punks.
Unlike the US where you could do some really stupid stuff and walk away safely.....it's just not that way in Germany. Too much video....smart cops....and investigative analysis that tends to put you into a bad situation.
If identified? The Provost Marshall will bring the parents into the situation, along with the Army commander. Better than ninety-percent chance that the kids will be directed to leave Germany. This is usually where some stupid relative in the states gets a call asking them to take in "junior" or "Matty" for a year because dad's commander said they have to leave Germany. From Ramstein in the 1990s....it was a pretty good statistical thing that at least one kid a year (minimum) from the community got tossed off back to the states.
Where does my comments lead to? GI's get forty-plus hours of in-processing when they arrive in Germany. It's been that way for decades. They give the Army or Air Force guy plenty of orientation into driving, German laws, drinking, and consequences.
American teens of military personnel? There's just not much orientation, and they just get dumped into the local school and told a minimum amount of information. I don't necessary blame the Army or Air Force....it's just that no one seems to worry about some stupid punk doing something and not grasping the implications or consequences involved. In this case? The stupid bus attack will have consequences.