Who is Damien T? Martial arts enthusiast who slapped Emmanuel Macron 'acted without thinking'
French president Emmanuel Macron was slapped in the face by a person dressed in a green shirt, while he was greeting the crowd behind a metal barrier, in the village of Tain-l'Hermitage on June 9. The man in question has been identified as Damien T, a 28-year-old from Saint-Vallier. Damien told the investigators that the slap was 'spur of the moment'.
Damien allegedly shouted "Down with Macronia!" before slapping Macron. The incident took place while Macron was visiting the Drome region in southeastern France, where he met restaurateurs and students. As the French President reached out his hand to greet Damien, he grabbed his hand and slapped him in the face.
WATCH: French President Emmanuel Macron is slapped in the face while greeting people; 2 people arrested pic.twitter.com/GdDftzSn2X— BNO News (@BNONews) June 8, 2021
Who is Damien T?
Damien T is a medieval martial arts enthusiast who was "unhappy" with President Emmanuel Macron's policies. He told the investigators that it was an instinctive decision and he acted "without thinking". The public prosecutor believed his claim, stating that it was clear there was no premeditation to the man's actions. Damien T is facing charges of assaulting a person in authority and was due to be tried in court on June 10.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a fine of up to €45,000 ($54,842). However, given what's been said by the prosecutor, Damian T is not likely to face so stiff a penalty. Reportedly, Damien's arrest was followed by a search at his home on the evening of June 9, which resulted in the seizure of a personal computer. "Many role-playing books, battle simulations, works on the Middle Ages and even a Soviet flag have been found. Reproductive weapons were also discovered, " as reported by The Parisian.
'Damien is a geek'
According to CBS, back in Damien's hometown of Saint-Vallier, locals told reporters that they were surprised by his actions. Damien is known as a bit of a geek, fascinated by medieval knights and sword fighting. Locals said Damien didn't really have any particular political leanings that they were aware of. Damien founded two non-profit associations in his hometown, one teaching medieval martial arts, and the other organizing role-plays and video games.
Damien's friend, Arthur C, who filmed the act was also arrested alongside him. Arthur "will be issued a summons to court for the end of the second half of 2022 to respond to offenses related to illegally held weapons" found at his home, according to the public prosecutor Alex Perrin.