The January 4th edition of The Australian has the story in English:
|President Jacques Chirac has vowed to bring to justice a gang that terrorised hundreds of train passengers in a long rampage of violence, robbery and sexual assault on New Year’s Day.|
|The two hour criminal frenzy by between 20 and 30 youths was “totally unacceptable,” he said.|
That’s what they can rape, robbery, mayhem and vandalism in France: “unacceptable.” Golly whiz, those youths are a caution.
|The gang boarded the train, bound from Nice on the French Riviera to Lyon, in eastern France, early on January 1, as it carried 600 passengers home from New Year’s Eve partying overnight.|
|Once inside, they went wild, forcing passengers to hand over mobile telephones and wallets, and slashing seats and breaking windows.|
|A 20-year-old woman cornered by several of the marauders was sexually molested.|
So of course the passengers decided they were going to stop these thugs and they managed to subdue them, right? In your dreams.
Well then… plan B: so of course the police were called and they surrounded the train and took the miscreants away in large vans, right? You wish.
It’s true. The police were called. And the train was stopped. And then the police waited for reinforcements before entering the train –while the thugs continued their rampage inside.
And then the police got on the train and the train proceeded on to Lyon. I kid you not:
|The three officers who initially turned up had to wait for reinforcements before boarding, during which time the youths continued to cause trouble.|
|The train then resumed its journey with a heavy police presence aboard but, just before Marseille, the youths pulled the emergency stop and escaped by running along the tracks.|
What kind of country do you have when the police are not as swift as the criminals? And what does a “heavy police presence” mean? Six fat guys with billy clubs? You get one guess which kind of French “youths” were involved. Ah, mais oui!:
|Only three – two 19-year-old Moroccans and a minor, all living in France – were arrested.|
Pray tell, where else would they be living, if they jump on a train in Nice?
But never fear. Chirac is on the job:
|“Those guilty will be found and punished as they deserve.”|
Well, that’s a relief, J.C.
The New Year
celebrations depredations do not bode well for 2006 in La Belle France. How do you say “we are up the creek without a paddle” in French?
Hat tip: Sir Humphrey’s