A 14-year-old boy drowned on Monday night in a canal in Valenciennes. Despite not being able to swim, he jumped into the water after a dispute with a group of boys over video games.

 

"/> A 14-year-old boy drowned on Monday night in a canal in Valenciennes. Despite not being able to swim, he jumped into the water after a dispute with a group of boys over video games.

 

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Teenager drowns over video games

A 14-year-old boy drowned on Monday night in a canal in Valenciennes. Despite not being able to swim, he jumped into the water after a dispute with a group of boys over video games.

 

The teenager, named William, was found dead by rescue personnel at 12:30 on Tuesday morning in the Upper Escaut canal, close to the Belgian border.

 

According to a preliminary investigation, the boy had lent two video games to a group of four other boys, who then threatened to throw them into the canal if he did not jump in first.

 

“He would have done anything to make friends,” William’s mother, Françoise Bachelet, 37, told the L’observateur du Valenciennois newspaper, adding that her son did not know how to swim.

 

The other adolescents watched him jump into the water, sink, resurface briefly and then disappear, she said.

 

The boys called emergency services, which quickly arrived on the scene. Around 30 personnel were on hand for the search-and-rescue operation, which included divers and canine teams. William’s body was found about four hours later.

 

Three of the four young people were taken into custody and an investigation to determine the exact circumstances of the incident is ongoing.

 

A fourth boy, ten years old, was returned to his parents.

 

 

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PARIS

Paris police warn tourists about ‘petition’ scam

Paris police have issued a warning to tourists to beware of scams targeting visitors that involve false petitions and donation drives.

Paris police warn tourists about 'petition' scam

The police préfecture in Paris has released an announcement warning tourists about a scam that might be used to target them especially. 

The scam involves young boys and girls asking people to sign their petitions and requesting that they give a donation. In reality, many people – especially tourists or those unfamiliar with the local area – find themselves giving their money away to a false organisation.

In other cases, the petition acts as a distraction while pickpockets target the visitors.

Frequently, these scams involve the young people feigning deafness or the inability to speak, and pretending to collect funds on behalf of NGO for the hard of hearing. 

The scam is just one of a number that criminals use to prey on tourists, and visitors return to Paris after a two-year break, police are warning people to be vigilant – especially in tourist hotspots such as Montmartre and the Eiffel Tower area or in transport interchanges such as Gare du Nord.

READ MORE: Warning: 6 of the most common scams in France to watch out for

For more advice on how to stay safe in Paris as a tourist, you can read the police “Guide for Staying Safe in Paris

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