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Man blocks ambulance 'because he needed a cig'

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10:51 CEST+02:00

Two brothers have been sentenced to eight months in jail after blocking an ambulance which was rushing a 7-year-old to hospital near Paris. One of the pair blamed his actions on the fact that he hadn't had his first coffee and cigarette of the day.

In Viry-Chatillon, south of Paris, a 7-year-old pupil swallowed a pen cap in school in February. The teacher called the emergency services, who rushed the child off to hospital. But on the way two brothers, 26-year-old Chakib and 22-year-old Rachid, overtook the ambulance, and blocking it with their Renault Twingo, French daily Le Parisien reports. 

With heavy traffic going in the other direction, the ambulance, operated by the fire service, was unable to overtake the brothers. Using a loudspeaker, the rescuers attempted to communicate with the two men and explain they are carrying a small boy to hospital. 

But instead of moving out of the way, the men started hurling insults at the firemen and make obscene gestures. Then they left their vehicle and started banging on the truck. One of the youths kicks the door while the other attempted to open it. 

The firemen ended up calling the police and another rescue vehicle to save the boy.

On Thursday, the two men did not turn up for their trial in Evry, near Paris. The judge however read out their testimonies.

"I fucked up. I wasn’t fully awake and hadn’t yet had my first coffee and cigarette of the day. I didn’t understand there was a kid on board," said Rachid, "Usually I threaten the police, not firemen."

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