French Mayor’s Home Attacked By Rioters With Flaming Car While Wife And Children Slept Inside
Rioters in France drove a car into a suburban mayor’s home before setting it on fire while his wife and two daughters slept inside as violence continued in the country early Sunday morning.
Vincent Jeanbrun — the mayor of south Paris suburb, L’Haÿ-les-Roses — was at a town hall when rioters attacked his home, but his wife and two young children were chased out by the mob, The Telegraph reported. The local prosecutor called the attack on the mayor’s home and family an “assassination attempt,” which came during the latest round of riots that have rocked the country in the wake of police shooting a 17-year-old Algerian Muslim.
“Last night a milestone was reached in horror and disgrace,” Jeanbrun said. “My wife and one of my children were injured. It was an attempted murder of unspeakable cowardice.”
Rioters allegedly chased Jeanbrun’s wife, Melanie Nowak, and her two children, ages 5 and 7, into the backyard while shooting mortar fireworks at them. Nowak eventually got her children over a wall and into their neighbor’s yard, but she fractured her leg while trying to escape, and one of her children was also injured. Jeanbrun said his wife is recovering in the hospital.
France Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin vowed to bring justice for the “victims of a cowardly and terrible attack.” Authorities found a plastic bottle that contained fire accelerant at the scene, and police have launched an investigation into attempted murder.
“An investigation for attempted murder has been opened and significant resources of the judicial police are mobilized. The perpetrators of these facts will answer for their heinous acts,” Darmanin tweeted.
Over the weekend, riots were reported from Paris — where a dozen buses were burned and store windows were smashed along the rue de Rivoli — all the way to Roubaix in the north and Marseille in the south as well as Reims and Lyon. In Drancy, a Paris suburb, a shopping mall was burned; and in Marseilles, the country’s largest library was burned. The headquarters of the Paris 2024 Olympics in Seine-Saint-Denis was set on fire.
More than 700 people were arrested Saturday night throughout the country, according to The Telegraph, which Darmanin called a “calmer night.” France deployed 45,000 police to counter the rioting, but that didn’t stop mobs from setting more than 800 fires throughout the night Saturday, the BBC reported. Jeanbrun has called for the French government to declare a state of emergency, which would give authorities more power to arrest suspects and implement curfews, but President Emmanuel Macron has so far declined to do so.