Norwegian police arrest gunman after ambulance rampage

Police officers apprehend an armed man who stole an ambulance in Oslo, Norway. (Reuters)
Updated 22 October 2019

Norwegian police arrest gunman after ambulance rampage

  • A woman with a pram and an elderly couple were run over or had to throw themselves out of the way
  • Witnesses cited by public broadcaster NRK said police shot at the tires of the ambulance and the driver fired back

OSLO: Norwegian police said they arrested an armed man who stole an ambulance Tuesday and ran down pedestrians in Oslo, including at least one baby, as the motive was not immediately known.
Police said they were searching for a second suspect — a woman described as having fair skin and wearing a black jacket, around 1.65cm (5 feet 4 inches) and “who appears to be under the influence” — who was thought to be involved in the incident.
“We have taken control of an ambulance that was stolen by an armed man,” Oslo police said on Twitter.
“Shots were fired to arrest the suspect, he is not seriously injured,” they added.
“A woman with a pram and an elderly couple were run over or had to throw themselves out of the way” of the stolen vehicle, police added in another Twitter post.
Norwegian news agency NTB said two seven-month-old twins were in the pram, one of whom was lightly injured and being treated in hospital while the status of the other was not immediately known.
Television images showed a pram lying by the roadside, and an upturned traffic sign.
According to TV2, the arrested man was in his 30s.
Witnesses cited by public broadcaster NRK said police shot at the tires of the ambulance and the driver fired back.
Police had been pursuing the ambulance when it crashed into a gate outside a residential building.
Television images showed a damaged Mercedes ambulance with what appeared to be several bullet holes in the front left door.
The incident took place in a residential neighborhood in northern Oslo. Students at a nearby school and daycare center were ordered to remain indoors.
A large number of police officers, some of them heavily armed, were deployed at the scene.
The suspect’s motive was not immediately known, police said.


Muslim woman accuses McDonald's franchisee of discrimination

Updated 14 August 2020

Muslim woman accuses McDonald's franchisee of discrimination

  • The general manager prohibited Powell from praying in a quiet spot at the airport
  • He told her to to pray in a dirty stock room instead

SILVER SPRING: A Muslim woman who worked for a McDonald’s franchisee in Maryland claims managers and co-workers sexually harassed her and subjected her to religious discrimination after she converted to Islam.
Diamond Powell, 28, of Baltimore, sued her former employer, Susdewitt Management LLC of Lanham, Maryland, on Thursday with the backing of attorneys from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights group.
The Morgan State University graduate was Christian in 2016 when she started working for the company, which operated two McDonald’s locations at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Powell converted to Islam in February 2017 and began wearing a hijab, a religious head covering, to work.
A manager told her to “take that hoodie off” her head while another manager told her, “You don’t have to wait for God to wake up for you to pray,” Powell’s federal lawsuit alleges.
Powell has a religious belief that she must pray five times a day at prescribed times. A general manager initially granted Powell’s request to take short prayer breaks during her shifts, according to her lawsuit.
“Her prayer breaks lasted no longer than a typical bathroom break,” the suit says.
But the general manager prohibited Powell from praying in a quiet spot at the airport and instead told her to pray in a dirty stock room, the lawsuit alleges. After Powell continued praying outside the restaurant, the general manager eventually revoked her request to take a prayer break, saying, “God will understand,” according to the lawsuit.
“By doing so, the general manager forced Powell to choose between continuing her employment with McDonald’s or sacrificing her sincerely-held religious beliefs,” the suit says.
Powell resigned from the job in April 2018. Her suit accuses Susdewitt Management of violating the Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Susdewitt Management owner Isaac Green disputed the lawsuit’s “characterizations” but said the company is reviewing Powell’s allegations and will “respond accordingly.”
“We pride ourselves on our diverse workforce, and we have policies in place to provide a welcoming workplace and to respect the accommodations employees may need for religious reasons,” Green said in a statement provided by a McDonald’s corporate spokeswoman.
The suit also claims Powell was sexually harassed at work, with several managers and co-workers asking her if she was a virgin and a shift manager making sexually explicit remarks.
“No Muslim woman should ever, ever experience what I went through, and I hope this lawsuit will help other Muslim women,” Powell said Thursday during an online news conference with her attorneys.
Zainab Chaudry, director of CAIR's Maryland office, said the group has seen an uptick in the number of incidents in which Muslims have experienced hostile work environments because of their faith.
“Unfortunately, this disturbing case is a glaring reminder of the challenges that Muslim employees often face within the workplace,” she said.