Vaud police face scrutiny over baby killing case

Questions are being raised about whether Vaud cantonal police responded appropriately in a case over the weekend that led to a man stabbing his one-year-old son over a dispute with his former partner, the child’s mother.

Vaud police face scrutiny over baby killing case
Photo: Vaud cantonal police

A rapid action response team battered down the door of the man’s fourth floor apartment in Renens, a suburb west of Lausanne, just as he stabbed the infant, Le Matin reported online.

The incident occurred on Saturday at around 7.20pm.

At the same time as the team entered the apartment “the father stabbed the baby and tried to commit suicide by slashing his neck”, police said in a statement.

The child was rushed to the hospital but died of his injuries, while the man, whose age and identity was not disclosed, was treated for minor injuries.

“Everything happened in a few seconds and at the same time,” cantonal police spokesman Jean-Christophe Sauterel told a press conference on Monday.

Several witnesses said that the time between the sound of the baby’s cries and the entry into the apartment by police “seemed to be an eternity, maybe 10 or 15 seconds but it was long”, Le Matin reported.

Police had attempted to negotiate with the man for several hours before taking the decision, in consultation with the local prosecutor, to enter the apartment “by surprise”, the force said in a statement.

Police said they made the decision because officers were convinced the life of the child was in danger.

The incident began when the accused travelled by train to meet his former partner and child at the Neuchâtel train station on Saturday morning, police said.

The woman agreed to let the man see the baby and they stayed in Neuchâtel for about an hour before the woman said he threatened her, forcing her to drive him to his apartment in Renens, police said.

Once arrived in Renens at around 3pm, the man took the baby to his fourth-floor apartment and locked the door, according to the police information.

Fearing for the life of her son, the woman phoned police who responded with special negotiators and the rapid response team.

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Drunk man dies trying to board train in Lausanne

Questions are being raised about the death of an inebriated 64-year-old man who fell between a train and the station platform in Lausanne less than two hours hours after police at another Swiss station checked him for being drunk.

Drunk man dies trying to board train in Lausanne
InterCity train. Photo: Swiss Federal Railways

The victim, a Polish citizen, attempted to board an InterCity train heading to Geneva late Sunday afternoon as it was pulling out of the station, according to a report from La Liberté newspaper, citing a statement issued by Vaud cantonal police.

The man directed an unsteady foot in the direction of the carriages, “tried to hang on to the moving train . . , (and) lost his balance before falling between the platform and the railway tracks,” police said.

La Liberté reported that one of the victim’s legs, jammed between the train and the edge of platform number 5, was severed.

A doctor, two ambulance attendants and firemen quickly arrived on the scene but were unable to save the man, who died from his injuries.

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) earlier notified Fribourg cantonal police at around 3.20pm that the man was drunk and had fallen on the floor of a train travelling from Geneva to Lucerne, La Liberté reported.

Two doctors travelling on the train had first noticed him and the fact he had a gash on his forehead.

At the Fribourg train station, cantonal police checked the man, who told officers that he lived in Lausanne, La Liberté reported.

Police then accompanied him on to another InterCity train heading to the Vaud capital, where he fell asleep, the newspaper said.

SBB staff woke the man up when the train arrived in Lausanne and an employee accompanied him to a bench on the platform.

The victim died while trying to board the train he had just got off, police said.

An investigation has been launched into the circumstances of the accident.

It was the second fatal accident involving a train in the canton of Vaud on Sunday.

A 24-year-old pedestrian was struck by a train at around 6am on the Montreux-Oberland Bernois (MOB) railway near Les Avants, a village several kilometres northeast of Montreux.

The victim, a local resident, became separated from a group of friends after visiting a local music festival, Vaud police said.

Police are still looking into the causes of the mishap.