German woman beaten up over asparagus prices

Mon May 18, 2009 2:00pm EDT
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BERLIN (Reuters) - German police are searching for a motorist who beat a 24-year-old woman selling white asparagus because he was upset about her asking price for the coveted springtime vegetable, police said on Monday.

The prices for white asparagus, sometimes called "edible ivory" in Germany, fluctuate wildly during the short springtime season, peaking early in the season at 10 euros per kilo.

The man screamed at the woman that her asparagus was overpriced. He then punched her in the face and threatened to unleash his attack dog at her. She fled and called police.

"The motorist said her prices were totally over the top," said Dietmar Keck, police spokesman in the Havelland district west of Berlin, without saying how much she was asking.

Prices for asparagus now range from 1 to 5 euros per kilo, he said. Some 55,000 tons valued at 175 million euros are harvested annually.

(Writing by Jacob Comenetz; Editing by Louise Ireland)

<p>White asparagus is pictured at a food market in Vienna, April 23, 2009. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger</p>