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8-year-old boy attacks police with pepper spray

An eight-year-old boy in Nantes in western France greeted two police officers with pepper spray and a hammer blow after they were called out to intervene in a routine neighbourhood dispute.

8-year-old boy attacks police with pepper spray
Photo: Pig Monkey

The two officers were taken to hospital with one nursing a broken finger and the other needing treatment after being hit in the face with the pepper spray, according to the local Ouest-France newspaper.

The officers arrived at the property located on the île de Nantes shortly after 3pm on Wednesday afternoon. The police unit had been despatched to the building to intervene in a neighbourly dispute.

As they knocked on the door of the apartment located on the ground floor they were met by the 8-year-old and his mother. From behind his mother's back, the young assailant struck out at the officers with the hammer and the pepper spray.

After the injured police officers were taken away for treatment, the young boy and his mother were taken to the police station for questioning.

The pair were later allowed to return home. 

"Given his young age, the boy can't be held criminally responsible for his actions," said a police officer, according to the newspaper.

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OFFBEAT

France’s mystery rooftop panther stolen from zoo

A black panther rescued from rooftops near the northern city of Lille last week has been stolen from the zoo where it was taken after capture, officials said.

France's mystery rooftop panther stolen from zoo
Photo: AFP/ Sapeurs Pompiers du Nord

The feline was seized overnight from the zoo in Maubeuge near the Belgian border, the city's mayor, Arnaud Decagny, told AFP on Tuesday.

“This animal was the only target,” Decagny said, adding that “considerable efforts” were made to force locks and avoid security systems.

Zoo personnel are worried about the young panther's health, “which is rather delicate because he lacks strength,” the mayor added, saying the animal was just a few months old and weighed between 25 and 30kg.

The panther after its capture. Photo League Protectrice des Animaux de la Nord de France/AFP

The panther was going to be transferred to a centre specialised in rehabilitating wild animals that had been domesticated.

Firefighters caught the cat last Wednesday as it roamed rooftops in Armentieres after escaping through the window of a private apartment believed to have been its home.

The panther's owner is thought to have escaped through the same window, for fear of being charged with illegally harbouring a wild animal.

Police have not located the fugitive owner, who could face charges of endangering the public, which is punishable by up to a year in prison and €15,000 in fines, Decagny said.

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