French mayor held after ‘shooting’ at youth mob

Every French mayor has their breaking point it seems and Alain Tharon is no different. The elected official in charge of a small French commune in eastern France was hardly the most democratic in his efforts to deal with a mob who had confronted him at his home.

French mayor held after 'shooting' at youth mob
Was the mayor of trigger happy or just defending his wife and home? Photo: Steven Straiton

The mayor of a small French town in eastern France was arrested by police at the weekend for firing his hunting rifle at a group of youths who had confronted him after setting off fireworks outside his home.

According to reports in the regional newspaper Est Republicain, one of the youths was left hospitalized after being hit in the leg after a ricochet.

The drama began on night of Saturday July 13, the eve of France’s Bastille day, when Alain Tharon, 62, the mayor of Fossieux and his wife were woken by firecrackers being let off outside his house.

It is common in France’s for fireworks and firecrackers to be let off in the run up to Bastille Day and many villages and towns held official celebrations and firework shows on Saturday night. But these youths were apparently in no mood for celebration.

According to Est Republicain three young men, who may have been drunk started banging and kicking at the doors and windows of the mayor’s home and his car. It then appears that the mayor confronted the mob from his window.

It is believed the youths told him to come outside “for a fight” and a few moments later he appeared at the front door. However he was not standing with his sleeves rolled up ready to go toe-to-toe, instead he held aloft a hunting rifle, cocked and aimed.

In the hope of scaring away the youths the mayor fired a warning shot into the ground, but to his shock one of them slumped to the ground after apparently having been hit in the leg, Est Republicain reports.

It is not clear whether he was hit by the bullet or a piece of shrapnel. The youth was taken to hospital, where his condition was not believed to be serious.

The mayor has reportedly claimed he was simply trying to defend his home and the lives of him and his wife. He is set to appear in court on August 20 accused of committing "assault with a weapon".

It is not the first time in recent memory in France that a group of troublesome youths got more than they bargained for after infuriating a local resident with their antics.

In April The Local reported how a pensioner in the town of Blois, central France used more than a brush to take on a group of teenagers, who were making a racket outside her apartment.

To the shock of the youngsters the 81-year-old woman opened fire on them with a rifle.

She was arrested after admitting to police that she had fire shots from a rifle, but she denied having aimed at the boys, according to French daily Le Parisien.

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Paris Metro stations to close during Bastille Day fireworks

Paris transport authorities have released a list of closures during the July 14th fireworks display.

Paris Metro stations to close during Bastille Day fireworks
The fireworks will go ahead this year, but without the crowds. Photo: AFP

July 14th marks France's fête nationale – known in the Anglophone world as Bastille Day – and although celebrations are scaled back this year, the traditional fireworks display at the Eiffel Tower is going ahead.

Spectators will not be allowed at the Tower, instead people can watch on TV or from the top of the Montparnasse Tower – with advance tickets only. Likewise the Champs de Mars concert is going ahead but without a live audience.

READ ALSO Bastille Day 2020: What will July 14th look like in France this year?


But despite the lack of crowds, there will still be closures on several Metro, bus and RER lines on Tuesday afternoon and evening.

From 4pm the following stations will be closed;

  • Pont de l'Alma, Tour Eiffel, Champs de mars and Kennedy Radio France on RER line C
  • Bir Hakeim on line 6
  • Ecole Militaire on line 8
  • Trocadero on line 6 and 9
  • Iéna and Alma Marceau on line 9

From 7pm the closures will extend to;

  • Javel on RER C and Metro line 10
  • Invalides on RER C and lines 8 and 13
  • La Motte Piquet Grenelle on lines 6, 8 and 10
  • Sevres Lecourb, Dupleix, Cambronne, Passy, Boissière, and Kléber on line 6
  • La Tour Maubourg on line 8
  • Rue de la Pompe on line 9
  • Saint François Xavier and Varenne on line 10
  • Eglise d'Auteuil, Emile Zola, Boulogne Pont de Saint Cloud, Boulogne Jean Jaurès, Chardon Lagache, Charles Michel, Charles Ange Auteuil, Michel-Ange Molitar, Mirabeau, Porte d'Auteuil and Ségur on line 10

Transport operator RATP says the stations will reopen 'at the order of Paris police'