Who does this – push a stranger off a train or from high altitude? After the violence against children at Frankfurt Central Station and at the London Museum Tate Modern, an expert emphasized the rarity of such acts.

"These cases are extreme rarities," said the director of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of the Berlin Charité, Isabella Heuser. Generalizations are difficult: "Because it is so rare, you can not set a rule."

Victims were in the wrong place at the wrong time

From individual cases from the past one knows that the perpetrators were suffering from a psychosis and acted in acute delusion, said the psychiatrist. For example, they feel persecuted. That could be imagined as a sudden illness boost. "After all, these patients are terribly scared, but of course that's the misunderstanding of reality, so they can be afraid of a kid." The victims are at the wrong time in the wrong place when it comes to the completely abrupt, raid-like acts.

Do not put mental illness under general suspicion

Other motives such as exercising power did not matter in their experience, if the perpetrators and victims do not know each other, Heuser said. In view of the public debates about acts like that in Frankfurt, she warned against putting people with mental illness under general suspicion. In fact, patients with schizophrenia, psychosis, severe depression or addictions, when in treatment, are not ticking time bombs: they are even less violent than the normal population, the expert said. This concerns both violence against others and violence against oneself.

Drugs as a trigger for violence

In principle, it is also conceivable that it comes under the influence of certain drugs to pointless violence against strangers, so Heuser. "Serious acts of violence against stalwarts, for example, have already emanated from people who were on methamphetamine, and who had taken in high doses." Strokes on tracks are not known in the context, but senseless knives on strangers, for example.

Methamphetamine is better known under the name of Crystal Meth. According to the German main office for addiction issues, overdoses with this drug are easily possible – this is associated with an increased risk of anxiety and hallucinations.

Cases from London and Frankfurt scare

In London, a 17-year-old allegedly threw a six-year-old on Sunday from the viewing platform of the Tate Modern Museum, accused of attempted murder. The little boy survived the fall badly injured. A specific or obvious motive is not yet recognizable, reported investigators.

On July 29, a man at Frankfurt Central Station had pushed an eight-year-old boy and his mother in front of an arriving ICE, the child died. A psychiatric report on the 40-year-old suspect from Eritrea was commissioned. The accused, a father of three, is said to have been in psychiatric treatment this year.