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Axe-wielding man attacks youth, breaks windows in southern Finland village

Police said a 40-year-old man carried out a destructive, violent rampage through the centre of Karis, Raseborg in southern Finland on Thursday evening.

Karis centrum. Karjaa keskusta.
File photo of Karis centre. Image: Yle/Minna Almark

A man born in the early 2000s was sent to the hospital after another man allegedly hit him in the back of the head with the blunt side of an axe in Raseborg's village of Karis on Thursday evening.

After the attack the suspect, a man in his 40s, then allegedly walked through streets of town, breaking storefront windows with the axe before being apprehended by law enforcement officers, according to local police.

The suspect is no longer being held by police, but was taken to a facility for care.

The rampage began at about 6 pm Thursday at the Karis bus station, according to western Uusimaa police chief Mats Sjöholm.

The youth was not severely injured in the assault Sjöholm said, but did receive a laceration to the back of his head and was transported by ambulance to the hospital for treatment.

The suspect managed to flee the scene after the alleged assault before police arrived. Not long afterwards however, police dispatch received reports of a man behaving aggressively and breaking shop windows in the centre of town.

Three police units responded

Officers tracked down the suspect to a residence and apprehended him.

Police said they forcibly broke down the door to enter the home because the suspect was being uncooperative.

Police said that officers warned the suspect they would use physical force unless he cooperated, saying that the man was taken into custody without further incident.

Svenska Yle writes (in Swedish) there were unconfirmed reports the suspect had also followed a "foreign couple" during his rampage through town.

Sjöholm said that if that actually happened, police would like the couple in question to contact them to provide more information.

Sjöholm said he considers Thursday's incident to be serious.

"Of course it was, considering a man hit a person in the head with an axe," he said.

However, he said that people should still feel safe in Karis.

"There should be a low threshold for contacting police. If an unpleasant situation arises people should call [emergency services number] 112. Sometimes just a police unit driving by calms things down," he said.

Tabloid newspaper Iltalehti first reported about the incident.

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