DAILYKENN.com -- They found him at a center for failed asylum applicants near Stockholm, Sweden.
The person in question was recorded as he attempted to pickpocket an elderly woman. A passerby with her children in tow witnessed the crime in action and intervened.
He punched her.
Reports say he is Sofian, a 33-year-old Algerian who has filed for asylum in Norway, Greece, Denmark and Sweden.
His lawyer says its mistaken identify.
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He was placed in the immigration centre after Sweden refused him asylum and was already known to authorities for violent episodes, including another arrest in January over accusations of threats to a public official, violent resistance and trespassing, according to Aftonbladet.
He remains in custody pending trial but denies the charges of attempted aggravated theft, assault and harassment. At a preliminary hearing he claimed to be a victim of mistaken identity, arguing a Tunisian man with similar features was the real culprit.
After the trial he is to be deported to Denmark under Europe's Dublin regulations where he first requested refugee status. However, if convicted he will be made to serve his sentence in Sweden.
The case comes amid tensions caused by the growing influx of migrants and is likely to further fuel xenophobic sentiment in the country that has witnessed a spike in arson attacks on refugee homes last year.
It follows controversy sparked by revelations in the wake of mass sexual attacks in Germany on New Year's Eve that Swedish police had failed to make public a similar incident involving numerous sexual assaults, often perpetrated by migrant youths, at a music festival in Stockholm last year.
The government recently tightened its traditionally welcoming asylum policy, imposing temporary border controls to cut down the number of arrivals. More than 160,000 people filed for asylum in Sweden in 2015.
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