Thousands turn out for the Champs-Élysées, and one murderous act could be tried there

Three men caught on camera pushing, shoving and threatening security personnel outside a Paris café after an altercation involving a train station security guard are in police custody. Debris, a sign for nearby Paris Saint-Germain football stadium, and a can were hurled at the security personnel before the men pulled out weapons, according to a witness.

The incident took place in the early evening on Thursday near the main train station of Paris’s Angoulême suburb. One commuter, Dominique Fentazini, said that the group of men was “extremely aggressive” before the cenotaph was attacked. According to French broadcaster TF1, Fentazini said the men asked people in the cafe to be let in so that they could take part in a political demonstration nearby. They were told it was closed, but that’s when the men made their move.

After the men’s march across the train station’s platforms, they created havoc. “They pulled out knives, blades, and stones, and fought with police and the guard,” said Philippe Dionne, the head of the police union La Defense.

His response came hours after 19-year-old Renato Schouw reportedly killed a 56-year-old woman on the Champs-Élysées on Thursday night. A second woman, who was named Haïveté Boukerf, lost her leg in the attack. Schouw had been formally arrested a day earlier, along with another 19-year-old who told police he had witnessed a “white man” murder the woman.

Video of the melee — first obtained by France24 and reviewed by France’s public prosecutor’s office — shows security guards beating one man with batons as the group flees, and more security guards trying to keep the group apart. The standoff appears to last a few minutes before police manage to separate the two groups. Then the can is heaved at a security guard before the men throw cobblestones and glass bottles at police. A witness claimed that one of the men pulled out a gun and pointed it at the group.

French authorities have made a man — Souleymane Raiss — one of the most wanted terrorist suspects in France, after he was identified as the one who threw a cobblestone at police from the group, according to the prosecutor’s office. He has been identified as a suspect in five robberies dating back to January in Angoulême. The Angoulême district of Paris is home to the 17th arrondissement train station, where the clashes took place.

Those fighting with the security team were also throwing projectiles at police during the confrontations, said the public prosecutor’s office. Police used tear gas and five people were taken into custody. The station reopened after the standoff.

Read the full story at France24.


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