Man held after grabbing Sarkozy
Thursday 30 June 2011
A man in a crowd grabbed French President Nicolas Sarkozy by the shoulder today and nearly knocked him to the ground before being tackled by security officers.
The incident occurred as the president shook hands with a crowd in the town of Brax in south-west France.
The attacker was unarmed, according to the national police service. An official said the 32-year-old Frenchman lives in the Lot-et-Garonne region and works in the theatre business.
The man was detained and being questioned in the nearby town of Agen.
French television showed Mr Sarkozy reaching over a metal barricade to greet onlookers when an arm grabs his suit roughly by the shoulder and pulls it toward the crowd.
Mr Sarkozy started to lose his balance and fall, then immediately recoiled and righted himself. Security officers pulled the assailant to the ground.
The president's office would not immediately comment.
Mr Sarkozy is an outspoken and divisive figure whose poll ratings have been quite low for months. He is expected to run for re-election next year, and his presidential visits to the French provinces in recent weeks have the air of campaign stops.
He occasionally gets heckled by critics, though only verbally. In one 2008 incident, a man was caught on video telling Mr Sarkozy not to touch him as the president walked through a crowd.
The man accused Mr Sarkozy of "dirtying me," and Mr Sarkozy snapped back with an insult that mildly translated as "get out of here, you total jerk."
Mr Sarkozy's predecessor, Jacques Chirac, was the object of an assassination attempt in 2002, during a military parade for the Bastille Day national holiday. A far right activist, Maxime Brunerie, was convicted of attempted murder after he pulled a rifle from a guitar case and shot at Mr Chirac who was unhurt.
- 4 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 5 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Boston Marathon runner's search for mystery man she kissed ends with letter from his wife
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Mysterious 'X-Files' sounds heard miles above the Earth
Met Gala 2015: Beyoncé manages to out-skimp Rihanna, Miley and Kim Kardashian with near-naked ensemble
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...