Man Who Slapped French President Emmanuel Macron Will Face Court

VALENCE, France — A 28-year-old man who slapped French President Emmanuel Macron will stand trial on Thursday, and if found guilty of attacking a public official, he may face jail time and a fine.

Damien Tarel was promptly apprehended after catching Macron on the face with an audible thwack while welcoming a throng in southeast France on Tuesday.

According to the prosecutor’s office, Tarel informed detectives that he attacked without thinking. He is scheduled to appear in court in Valence, France’s Rhone Valley, on Thursday afternoon.

The charge of violence against a public official carries a maximum sentence of three years in jail and a fine of 45,000 euros ($54,000).

Another guy caught in the commotion that followed the slap, Arthur C., will be tried for unlawful weapon possession in 2022, according to the prosecutor.

Police searching Arthur C.’s residence uncovered literature on the art of war, a copy of Adolf Hitler’s manifesto “Mein Kampf,” and two flags, one signifying Communists and the other signifying the Russian revolution, according to the prosecutor’s office.

According to the prosecution, neither Tarel nor Arthur C., both 28 years old, had any police history.

During a short meet-and-greet with members of the public, who were kept back behind road barriers in the winemaking town of Tain-l’Hermitage, videos showed Macron’s assailant hitting the French leader’s left cheek and his security moving the guy away.

The assailant was heard yelling “Montjoie! Saint Denis!”, a centuries-old royalist war cry, before concluding with “A bas la Macronie,” or “Down with Macron.”

According to the prosecutor’s office, Tarel told investigators he was linked to the yellow vest economic protest movement that rocked Macron’s administration in 2019 and also held right- or ultra-right political convictions without being a member of a party or organization.

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