Chainsaw recluse Franz Wrousis arrested

  • 26/07/2017
chainsaw recluse
Swiss loner Franz Wrousis is accused of wounding five people. Photo credit: Supplied

The suspect in a chainsaw attack on a health insurer's office in Switzerland that left five people wounded has been caught, after more than a day on the run.

Franz Wrousis was arrested on Tuesday in Thalwil, some 45 kilometres from the scene of Monday morning's attack in Schaffhausen, police said.

Police issued a brief statement announcing the arrest but said they would give no further details before a news conference scheduled in Schaffhausen on Wednesday.

Authorities had issued an international arrest warrant for Mr Wrousis, whom they described as aggressive and psychologically unstable.

They said the 50-year-old has two previous convictions for weapons offences and no fixed residence.

Mr Wrousis is accused of attacking two employees of a health insurance company at their office in Schaffhausen's old town.

One of them was seriously hurt, though the injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Authorities say Mr Wrousis, a client of health insurer CSS, targeted the agency, although a motive remains unclear.

Two customers were treated for shock after they witnessed the attack, and another person was slightly injured during the subsequent police operation. All but one of the five have left the hospital.

In recent weeks, Mr Wrousis was seen several times in forests just south of Schaffhausen.

Police found a mini van he was believed to have been driving shortly after the attack, and searched the region near the German border with helicopters and sniffer dogs.

On Tuesday, they urged people to exercise caution when in the area's forests as long as the suspect remained at large.

As the manhunt continued, the insurance company said it was keeping its offices in Schaffhausen and five other nearby towns closed for now "in view of yesterday's attack."