Swiss Man Suspected in Chain Saw Attack Is Arrested Near Zurich

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BERLIN — After a search by hundreds of officers, including reinforcements from nearby towns, the Swiss police arrested and charged a 51-year-old man suspected of attacking two health insurance employees last week with a chain saw, the authorities said on Wednesday.

The suspect, Franz Wrousis, who had evaded the police for 36 hours, was detained late Tuesday in Thalwil, near Zurich, after a tip from a resident who recognized him from images released by the authorities, said Ravi Landolt, a senior investigator for the regional police in Schaffhausen, where the attack took place.

Mr. Wrousis was on foot and carrying two crossbows loaded with arrows and two sticks with spiked tips in a plastic bag at the time of his arrest, a prosecutor, Peter Sticher, told reporters at a news conference. The suspect did not have a chain saw with him at the time, and the police were still searching for the one used in the attack, Mr. Sticher said.

“The arrest took place without protest; he behaved himself and was cooperative,” Mr. Sticher said.

Mr. Wrousis was handed over to the authorities in Schaffhausen and charged with committing multiple personal assaults.

A motive for the assault was still unclear, the authorities said. The attack injured two employees, and two customers of the CSS Insurance company were treated for shock. A third man was slightly injured by the Schaffhausen police, they said in a statement. (Earlier, the police had said that five people had been injured by the attacker.)

One of the injured remained hospitalized and another had been released, the police said.

It was not immediately clear how the suspect had traveled the roughly 65 kilometers, or 40 miles, to Thalwil, on the shore of Lake Zurich, from Schaffhausen.

The Swiss police had mobilized 300 officers to search for the suspect, and had called in reinforcements from neighboring cantons. Residents around Schaffhausen were warned to exercise caution and to avoid the forests, where Mr. Wrousis was believed to have most recently been living in his car.