The man who slapped Emmanuel Macron yesterday is a 28-year-old medieval role-playing fan who lives with his mother, police have revealed.
Damien Tarel, with long hair and glasses, was thrown to the ground by bodyguards after hitting the president and shouting: “Montjoie Saint Denis”, an old royalist battle cry, “A Bas La Macronie”.
The serious security breach overshadowed the start of a Macron “Tour de France”, intended to gauge public opinion after a year of confinement, and drew condemnation from all political walks of life.
Police searched Tarel’s house where they discovered reproduction weapons, a Soviet flag, fantasy novels, Japanese comics and military simulation games.
Immediately afterwards, a police source claimed that Tarel was an ‘anarchist’, but detectives are now working on the basis that he subscribes to some sort of ‘ideological mush’. The Parisian reports the newspaper.
A source close to the investigation describes him as someone “a little lost, a little geek, a little gamer”.
Scroll down for video.
Damien Tarel is a Middle Ages enthusiast whose social networks reveal him wearing period clothes and participating in re-enactments.
Tarel, wearing a green t-shirt and white mask, is seen slapping Macron in the face as bodyguards intervene
French President Emmanuel Macron was slapped by a man while traveling in southeastern France on Tuesday, an aide said.
The president is carried to safety after being beaten as his guards take the striker to the ground
Macron watches his attacker as bodyguards move in to tackle the attacker
His Instagram account shows him wearing armor and wielding swords, posing on hay bales in robes and a velvet beret, and wearing a helmet used in the Japanese martial art of Kendo.
Tarel ran a local club of martial arts enthusiasts focused on practicing historic European martial arts, including traditional fencing.
A source told Le Parisien that he lives “in a sort of parallel world made up of role-playing games, medieval combat simulations”.
He was detained with his friend, Arthur C., who is the same age, and who is accused of shouting insults at Macron. A search of Arthur’s house reportedly uncovered a copy of Mein Kampf and a gun, for which he had a license.
The couple traveled from their hometown of Saint-Vallier to the village of Tain-l’Hermitage, about 10 miles south along the Rhône, where Macron was greeting voters.
They had attended a demonstration of yellow vests which took place in the neighboring city of Valence around noon, according to the magazine L’Obs.
At some point during the day, the couple, along with another friend who was not arrested, were interviewed by a reporter who asked them what they thought of the president’s presence in town.
Tarel is seen standing next to the man in the video who tells the reporter he is an “anarchist” and refers to the “decline of France”.
He adds that he cannot say more, saying that the media often misinterpret these opinions.
At around 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Tarel was seen standing in front of barriers outside the culinary school in Tain-l’Hermitage which Macron had visited.
Macron came to greet him and he appeared to stop the president for a chat, grabbing his arm before slapping him, shouting: “A bas la Macronie” (“A Bas La Macronie”).
Tarel in plate armor carries a shield during a re-enactment
Tarel hugging a tree in an Instagram post. A source told Le Parisien that he lives “in a sort of parallel world made up of role-playing games, medieval combat simulations”.
Detectives are now working on the basis that he subscribes to a sort of ‘ideological mush’, Le Parisien newspaper reported.
Bodyguards quickly grabbed the attacker and threw him to the ground before dragging him away, while Macron was taken to safety by a member of the security service.
A few seconds later, Macron returned to the barriers to get a word out, even though we didn’t know what he was saying.
Macron said he had no fear for his safety and continued to shake hands with members of the public after being beaten.
In an interview with the Dauphine Libère newspaper afterwards, Macron said: “You cannot have violence or hatred, either in speech or in actions. Otherwise, it is democracy itself that is threatened.
Sources claim that Tarel and Arthur C. are “marginal” members of their local community, “unemployed”.
Tarel follows right- and left-wing YouTube channels, among other things focusing on Japanese manga comics and historical battles.
One of the channels he follows is called Media for All and is hosted by Vincent Lapierre, who rose to prominence through his coverage of the 2018 yellow vest protests – which he openly supported.
Two people have been arrested following the incident in the Drôme village of Tain-l’Hermitage where Macron had met restaurant owners and students to talk about how life is returning to normal after restrictions were eased covid restrictions
Another YouTuber Tarel follows is Papicito, a 35-year-old comics fan who takes a hard-line stance against immigration and posted a controversial video earlier this year of him shooting a ‘liberal’ before stabbing him multiple times. occasions. It has since been removed by YouTube.
Tarel and Arthur C. can be detained up to 48 hours before a court appearance in Valencia.
They were charged with “intentional violence against a person holding public authority”.
If found guilty, the attacker faces up to three years in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros (£38,000).