German police in Berlin say an American got so fed up with the constant mosquito-like droning from his neighbors' vuvuzela plastic horns that he threatened to kill them with an ax. Police in the Bavarian city of Weiden said Friday the 45-year-old man confronted his neighbors during Thursday's Netherlands-Cameroon World Cup game wielding the ax.
They said he was so sick of the constant buzzing and honking from the vuvuzelas since the tournament began that he screamed: "I will kill you," and then returned home.
German authorities took the U.S. Army civilian employee into custody and turned him over to U.S. military police. The military says he has been released and the matter is in German hands. Prosecutors are investigating whether to charge the man, whose name was not released, with making a threat and slander for allegedly calling his neighbors names.
The cheap, yard-long vuvuzela trumpets have become a side story of the World Cup in South Africa, where their buzzing has been the backdrop to every match. Players have been criticizing the noise because they find it difficult to take advice from the bench, and visiting fans have no chance for community singing amid the noise.
A French cable TV channel even offers vuvuzela-free broadcasts for all World Cup matches, with the trumpets digitally tuned out. Defenders include FIFA President Sepp Blatter, Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu - and masses of South African football fans.
The trumpets were first produced and marketed in 2001 by South African Neil Van Schalkwyk, who still owns the rights to the vuvuzela name. His latest innovation is to sell each with a pair of earplugs included.
Meanwhile, in another part of Germany, a drunken fan severely beat a police officer with a vuvuzela following Germany's win over Ghana on Wednesday. From the local paper:
"Most of the celebrations in the town of Dinslaken just north of Duisburg were peaceful after the game, which more than 10,000 people turned out to watch, the Wesel county police department reported. But at 11:10 pm, one intoxicated 20-year-old fan began taunting a police officer who was directing traffic around a gathering of some 1,500 people."
"As he turned to the 20-year-old, the man suddenly began hitting and kicking the officer," the statement said. "Furthermore he began pounding the officer's head with a vuvuzela."
Vuvuzelas, the South African plastic stadium horns introduced to the world at this year's World Cup tournament, are controversial in Germany due to what many consider their irritating sound.
But to be fair, it doesn't take much to irritate the Germans. :D