Sleeping woman, 19, groped on train, three men arrested

A 19-year-old woman was groped by a man after she fell asleep on the train between Lelystad and Almere on Tuesday evening, the police said a day later. Another traveler, who saw it happen, intervened by calling emergency services and looking for a conductor. The man and two of his associates were arrested at Almere station.

The witness and the conductor approached the man, police said. “The traveler was then threatened by the man and two other men who were in his company.”

The police were able to arrest the three when the train arrived in Almere. It concerns two men from the municipality of Cranendonck, aged 22 and 26, and a 27-year-old man from the municipality of Westerwolde. Police are looking for witnesses to the incident, which happened at 11:15 p.m. A spokesperson for the NS said it is “terrible” what happened to the 19-year-old passenger.

Additionally, police also announced on Wednesday that they arrested a suspect on Monday for another assault on a train. It concerns a 40-year-old man from Den Helder, who is accused of harassing and assaulting a 19-year-old woman for 40 minutes on May 23 in an otherwise empty train car during a trip from Amsterdam Centraal to Alkmaar. She was only able to leave the train at Alkmaar station to ask for help.

The police tracked the man using CCTV footage. The man has since been released from detention, but he remains a suspect in the case, police said. The 19-year-old victim has also been informed of the arrest.

A spokesperson for the national railway company called it “good news” that a suspect was detained. Since April 2020, the NS has had a telephone number (06-13181318) that train passengers can use when they feel unsafe or experience nuisance. This can be reported this via WhatsApp or SMS, and is sent directly to the NS control center.

In situations where urgent help is needed, 112 should still be called. It is not known whether new safety measures will be taken as a result of the incidents. The NS said it first wants to await the outcome of the police investigations.

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