BERLIN (Reuters) - A German court has handed a 20-year-old apprentice a 227,000-euro ($280,000) bill to cover police costs after he organized an illegal party through the Facebook social network in the southern German town of Constance.
The man identified only as Matthias L. told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag that he attended a number of other parties announced on Facebook and got the idea to have an even bigger event at a public beach on the shores of Lake Constance.
The newspaper said thousands had signed up to attend, clicking the ‘join’ button, but town leaders banned it in advance. Nearly 300 police were dispatched to prevent revelers from gaining access to the beach area. Only about 150 people showed up and eight who refused to leave were detained.
“I had been to some other illegal Facebook parties and thought to myself ‘I can do better than this’,” Matthias L. told Bild am Sonntag.
The newspaper said he earns about 560 euros a month but will now have to reimburse the city and police 227,052 euros.
“When I look at the bill I feel ill,” Matthias L. said.
Guenter Loos, an official at the Baden-Wuerttemberg state interior ministry, said the state will insist on reimbursement.
“We’re definitely going to collect these fees in accordance with state rules,” he said.
Reporting By Elisa Oddone; Editing by Erik Kirschbaum