An American was attacked in western Germany by a man who heard him speaking English and shouted "Heil Hitler," police said Thursday.
The incident happened in the early hours of last Saturday at a McDonald's restaurant in Gelsenkirchen, in the industrial Ruhr region, police in the city said in a statement.
They said the 54-year-old American, who was not identified, was speaking in English with his partner, and a stranger asked why they were not speaking German. The woman said her friend did not speak German well, and the American asked "What's your problem?"
Police said the stranger then said: "We are in Germany. German is spoken here," before shouting "Heil Hitler" and raising his right arm. The Hitler salute is illegal in Germany.
The American threatened to call police. As he reached for his mobile, police said, the stranger head-butted him, and he fell to the floor. The assailant then repeatedly kicked his left ankle.