It's all fun and games until somebody is rolled over by the Maypole.
In keeping with the Bavarian tradition of stealing the Maypole of another town, everybody was on high alert this week to protect theirs. The Maypole is a tall wooden pole which is erected in the each town and which celebrations take place around on May Day. Often, another town will try to steal the Maypole in order to hold it ransom and demand large amounts of beer and food from the affected town.
There are groups that specifically organize stealing Maypoles and it has become somewhat of a cat and mouse game over the years. In the weeks leading up to May Day, the town will guard their Maypole in order to keep it safe and to avoid paying for the loss. Since the Maypole is extremely heavy, stealing it is no simple task. The craziest theft to date involved a helicopter and a long night of negotiations to return it to the village.
In not-so-spectacular fashion, 16 men took it upon themselves to steal the Augsburg Sport club's Maypole in the middle of the night, yet the plan did not go as smoothly as originally thought out. The night started off easy, as the stolen maypole was loaded onto the trailer the men had brought out. Once they tried to make off with it however, a fellow thief, a 53-year-old man, found himself under the wheels.
After complaining about shortness of breath, his accomplices agreed to call an ambulance to see to his medical needs. The injured man was taken to the hospital where it was later discovered that he had internal injuries. His life not presently in any significant danger however he has a fair amount of recovery time ahead of him.
To top off the night, all of the men involved in the incident will now face criminal charges for theft.