ZDF, Channel Two here in Germany and state-run, last night ran an episode of 37 Grad. It's a documentary show, which goes to tell a story. Some of the stories that they've run....have been fairly depressing (dwelling on approaching death, or some rare cancer), and some have been about challenging circumstances in life.
So, this episode dealt with Stefan Arzberger. I know.....he's not exactly a household name.
Arzberger is this German guy who lives in Leipzig and is fairly well known around the concert and opera world of Germany. He's a member of the Leipzig String Quartet, and make trips to various international cities to play for the classical music crowd.
Arzberger was visiting New York City in March of 2015. This was part of a concert tour, and he was up late one night....sitting the bar of the Hudson Hotel (near Central Park). Somewhere around midnight is the last time someone noted the guy there in the pub.
Around five to six in the morning (at least by one account of the story).....Arzberger is in the hallway of his floor of the hotel....naked....knocking on doors.
One lady finally opens her door.....guest gal from North Carolina around 64 years old at the time. What occurs next is bizarre. He grabs a hold on her and is chocking her enough to burst some blood vessels to her eyes (her claim), and banging her against the wall. Luckily, some maid or floor employee was around.....stopped the guy (maybe knocking him down) and cops get called.
Cops never drug-test the guy.....but it's not required either.
The cops arrest him and take him downtown.
The charges will later be attempted murder, assault and burglary. What Arzberger later says is that he had some gal in his room (really a transvestite) and she robbed him.....while he was doped up on something that she gave to him.
He says it was the drug given, that made him act "funny".
So, the NY court system has been going through the sequences here. They took away his passport and have made him stay in NY City. He's got no real money left, and his wife in Germany has been attempting to raise funds. He lives with some fairly well known German and simply walks around the city.....waiting on his court episode to unfold. Numerous art people and journalists have identified with his case and think it's rather unfair. Obviously, even as the 37 Grad story is told.....it's just unfair to keep him there.
The 37 Grad story left out the fact that the North Carolina gal intends to do civil action and this could be a half-million-dollar case easily. "Unfair" got layered across this thirty-minute documentary in a thick manner. If you judged his case strictly by the documentary.....he ought to be free.
I sat this afternoon and spent forty-five minutes reading various non-German articles over the episode.
Frankly, I think the guy has a pretty tough case. At the minimum......on assault.....it's an easy conviction and in NY City.....without the cooperation of the gal he was hurting.....it's easy win for the prosecution. One year.....maybe two in prison.
The attempted murder charge? I think he could easily beat, and the burglary charge is weak....based on what the NY writers say.
In some ways, I feel sorry for the guy because he was doped up at some point, and he's probably very embarrassed with his wife over having the male-gal in his room. But he clobbered and hurt this North Carolina gal to the maximum degree. He will have to eventually settle with her and pay her off in some manner....to avoid her being a serious witness against him in court.