Damien Tarel Biography, Wiki, Age
Damien Tarel and Arthur C. took part in Emmanuel Macron’s walkabout this Thursday. The first of these two French took the opportunity to slap the President of the Republic before being neutralized. According to various French media, including BFM TV, searches were then carried out at the homes of the two young men.
These notably enabled the authorities to get their hands on several firearms as well as a copy of “Mein Kampf”, written by Adolf Hitler.
He had not been identified by the police. Until this Tuesday, when he slapped the French president, Emmanuel Macron, on his tour of the country. Damien Tarel is a 28-year-old young man living in the Drôme department who made headlines in the media around the world.
According to the French channel BFMTV, Tarel’s slap to Macron outraged not only the French political class, but many of the people who were around at the time. Including his friends.
After the slap, Tarel and another person were arrested. He has been arrested for “intentional violence against a head of public authority” and faces a prison sentence of up to three years and a fine of 45,000 euros.
What we know about the perpetrator
Damien Tarel is a fan of medieval history who follows the royalist far right on social networks, but who is described as apolitical and non-violent in his town.
Aged 28 and arrested in Tain-L’Hermitage, he lives in Saint-Vallier (Drôme) north of Valence. There he founded two associations in the historical European martial arts, a practice of fighting “fallen into oblivion” which has 1,500 practitioners in Franc, and board games with figurines.
It was there that he met Arthur C., 28, arrested by his side after filming the attack on the head of state. Met by AFP on Tuesday evening in Saint-Vallier, Loïc Dauriac, 36, is a friend of the two men. He was also with them before the passage of Mr. Macron, the three were filmed by a team from the Daily show.
The court heard that Tarel subscribed to right-wing or far-right politics and was close to the yellow-vest movement. President Macron said the attack should not be trivialised but had to be kept in proportion. He had just left a hotel school in the south-eastern town of Tain-l’Hermitage when he ran towards a crowd waiting behind a metal barrier.
As he slapped the president, Tarel was heard to shout “Montjoie and Saint-Denis! Down with Macronism”, using an obscure medieval battle-cry. The incident was immediately condemned across France’s political spectrum, less than a year before the presidential elections.
Damien Tarel Charges
Prosecutors had called for 18 months in prison for assaulting a public official but the three judges presiding over the case said Tarel should be given 18 months, with 14 months of the sentence suspended. His four months in jail will start immediately but the rest will only be enforced if he commits another offence.
A second suspect who filmed the incident is facing prosecution for illegal possession of weapons after local authorities searched his home. He comes from the same town as Damien Tarel.
What did Tarel tell the court?
According to the AFP news agency, the defendant appeared in court in Valence wearing the same green T-shirt he wore on the day of his arrest. Asked why he had attacked the president, he replied that while waiting with his friends in the car beforehand he had considered doing something notable. He had earlier considered throwing an egg or cream tart but insisted he had not considered slapping Mr Macron.
“When I saw his friendly, lying look, which sought me out as a voter, I was filled with disgust,” he was reported as saying to the court.
Condemning the president’s politics, he added that he felt he was part of the anti-establishment gilets jaunes (yellow-vests) movement, which staged anti-Macron protests during the early years of his presidency. “I acted instinctively,” he claimed.
Damien Tarel Instagram
Friends had earlier described Tarel as apolitical and Le Parisien had quoted one source who summed up his politics as “ideological mush”. His Instagram page described him as a historic European martial arts enthusiast, complete with sword and armour. His battle cry is perhaps better known nowadays for its use in a 1993 French comedy film called Les Visiteurs.
What did Macron say?
The French president had earlier dismissed the assault as isolated while emphasising that “ultra-violent people” should not be allowed to hijack the public debate. In a news conference on Thursday, June 10th, ahead of France’s involvement in the European football championships, he went further.
“There have been moments of very high tension and violence in our country which I’ve had to experience as president, during the gilets jaunes crisis. But society is in a different place today.” He said he had decided not to take legal action himself, preferring to leave it to the judicial system.