Zug, 22.02.2021

Brawl on tennis court

A tennis match in a residential quarter upsets a resident to such an extent that he slapped  one of the players, threw himself at him and hit him with his tennis racket. The attack leht the victim with a torn eardrum. And the perpetrator has received post from the Zuger Prosecutor's Office.

Tennis: a gentleman's sport. The tennis court: still a place where decency and respect for the game and the opponents count for more than the result on the scoreboard. At least in theory. But what happened on a Sunday night last spring on a court in the canton of Zug didn’t correspond with the code of the game.

April 12th was a spring-like Sunday: Just after 5 p.m., the thermometer still indicated almost 20 degrees, and there was virtually no wind: perfect weather for tennis. But Switzerland had then been in lockdown for almost a month. Restaurants, shops, schools and sports establishments were closed. Almost every day, the Federal Council appealed to the population to only leave their homes when absolutely necessary. At the same time, it was repeatedly emphasized that movement in the fresh air was allowed and desired – as long as you avoided crowds and kept a social distance of two metres.

Tennis match becomes a matter for the judiciary
The fact that Patrick Wirz and Anna Nigg (names changed: ed.) met for a game of tennis on this Sunday evening was not the reason for the penalty order that the Zug Prosecutor's Office issued on 6 January this year. But the occasion.

33-year-old man beats tennis player with this racket

On April 12, four spectators were standing around the fence watching the mixed duel when an angry resident appeared at around 5.30 p.m. The fact that tennis was being played here and now – almost on his doorstep, in the middle of the extraordinary situation and in front of an audience – was not acceptable for him.

This has to be stopped. He first asked whether the players lived in the local area and were therefore allowed to use the facility at all. Yes, replied Patrick Wirz and shows the 33-year-old the reservation board: he and his partner were registered there. The game is therefore allowed, according to him.

But the local resident did not give up. As the game went on, he continued to complain, screamed at Patrick Wirz, approached him, and insulted him with words for which you would see the red card on the football pitch. Patrick Wirz remained calm for quite a time, and then reacted, telling the local resident to keep two metres away. This proved to be a mistake.

Resident injures the student’s ear
This admonition really infuriated the local resident. He went up to the tennis player waving his fists about, and hit Wirz on the left ear. A "traumatic eardrum perforation shrapnel membrane on the left" was attested by a doctor later. The 22-year-old student let go of his tennis racket during the attack. The resident picked it up, jumped towards the victim, and hit out at Wirz several times, hitting him on the hand, abdomen and elbow. While falling, Wirz grabbed the attacker by his T-shirt, and was able to pull him to the ground, thereby preventing any further blows. The attack only came to an end when the four spectators intervened and separated the combatants.

But the 33-year-old still had his opponent's tennis racket in his hand, and threw it over the fence, a good 35 metres away. The racket was damaged on landing. And as if that weren't enough, the resident made it clear to Wirz that he should watch out – he would catch up with him yet.

The prosecutor sentenced the 33-year-old craftsman to 80 daily rates of CHF 30 for minor damage to property, threats and simple bodily injury. The sentence was pronounced conditionally, with a probationary period of one year. In addition, there was a statutory transgressional fine of CHF 100.

Rode away from police on electric scooter
The Zug Prosecutors also convicted the man for obstructing an official act: In November 2019, a patrol of the Zug police checked the craftsman on the terrace of a Zug restaurant. Although he handed his ID over to the police, he did not want to have his belongings searched in public. He therefore had to be taken to the police station. But, as the penalty order states: "During the preparation for transport to the main police post, he got onto his electric scooter and tried to evade the check."