BERLIN -- German police officers were pelted with bottles to applause from a large crowd after they tried to end a brawl in central Frankfurt early Sunday, leading to clashes that ended with 39 arrests, the city's police force said.
Frankfurt police chief Gerhard Bereswill said a small group of police tried to intervene after the brawl involving up to 30 people broke out at around 3 a.m. in the city's central Opernplatz square.
Participants in the fight turned on the officers and threw bottles at them, along with others standing nearby, he said. The other 500 to 800 people in the square “began to jeer and clap when bottles hit our colleagues,” Bereswill added. Police called in reinforcements, who he said were also pelted with bottles, and then cleared the square.
Bereswill said police arrested 39 suspected bottle-throwers, eight of whom were still in custody Sunday. Most were young men aged 17-21 from the Frankfurt area, many of them with immigrant roots, he said.
At least five police officers sustained slight injuries such as bruises and several police cars were damaged, Bereswill said.