Soldier detained in flashlight attack on German woman
June 27, 2007
A German woman who was allegedly struck over the head with a flashlight by a U.S. soldier and temporarily put into a coma has limited memory of the incident, which is slowing the investigation, the woman’s lawyer said.
German police identified the suspect in the case as Sgt. Stevie Marquez Huff, 25, who sources previously said is with the 554th Military Police Company in Stuttgart.
The woman, Angelika Gruber, 28, was assaulted May 26 at her home in Hauptstuhl, three miles west of Landstuhl, police said.
After the assault, police distributed an alert to search for Huff, a former boyfriend of Gruber. Huff was apprehended two days later after trying to enter a U.S. installation in Heidelberg, according to Alfred Klein, an investigator with the Landstuhl Police Department and German Police Liaison Office at Ramstein Air Base.
The Army declined to confirm that Huff was a suspect but said a soldier is being detained in the case.
“We cannot go into the specifics of the investigation without risking violating the rights of the persons involved and the integrity of the investigation,” said Bruce Anderson, a spokesman with U.S. Army Europe in Heidelberg.
Anderson said no one had been charged in the case, and that it was still being investigated.
Huff, who previously was stationed in nearby Miesau, had dated Gruber for several months before she broke off the relationship earlier this year, according to Gruber’s lawyer, Rainer Fuhrmann of Pirmasens.
Fuhrmann said Gruber, the mother of a 4-year-old girl, suffered a fractured skull in the assault and was in a coma for several hours after the attack. She was recently discharged from Saarland University Hospital in Homburg, but will return there soon for further treatment.
Fuhrmann declined to allow the woman to be interviewed by Stars and Stripes, saying she was still recovering from her injury.
Both Fuhrmann and Klein said it was possible that Huff could be charged with attempted murder, since he allegedly closed the door to Gruber’s apartment and locked it after the assault, and then fled, taking the house key with him.
Neighbors who heard Gruber’s cries for help called the police, who had to kick in the door to the apartment, where they found her lying on the floor in her own blood, Klein said.
Shortly afterward, an alert was put out for Huff’s black Jeep.