• France's news in English

Cops grill six-year-olds over playground fight

AFP/The Local · 16 May 2014, 16:41

Published: 16 May 2014 16:41 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Marie-Claude Lerue was shocked last weekend when police showed up at her house and then horrified when she realized the officers were there for her 6-year-old son.

The police in the small village of Gespunsart near the Belgian border had a summons ordering the boy to the police station for interrogation about a playground game turned fight that left a girl with bruises, French newspaper L’Union reported.

“Aren’t you ashamed of hauling kids to the police station for questioning,” the woman’s partner, Cyril Girard demanded of the officers.

In all five boys we summoned by the police for the incident at school in March.

The little girl’s mother says the boys are no innocents. The group had set upon her daughter, kicking her while she was on the ground, leaving her with a 10-centimetre bruise, she said.

Here's the boy who the police wanted to question. (Screengrab/L'Union)

“It’s not the first time, this has been going on since school started. We already contacted the principal, we also went to see her, nothing changed,” the unidentified mother told L’Union. “I had a doctor look at the bruises and then I reported it to the police.”

For their part the police said they had to bring the kids in for questioning because a criminal complaint had been filed.

“I understand it could sound shocking to question such young kids. But as soon as a complaint’s been filed, we have to interview the possible perpetrators,” said local police commander Johanna Di Pietro.

While everyone is fairly riled up by the case, all sides agree the school needs to do a better job of keeping an eye on the kids. There are only three adults on the playground for roughly 36 kids.

AFP/The Local (joshua.melvin@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

Lonely Planet says Bordeaux is world's best city to visit
The fantastic new Bordeaux wine museum. Photo: AFP

After The Local France, the Lonely Planet has followed suit by urging everyone to head to Bordeaux in 2017.

Jungle shacks set ablaze and torn down as camp razed
All photos: AFP

IN PICTURES: The razing of the Jungle has finally begun.

Frenchwoman finds WW1 grenade among her spuds
Photo: AFP

It could have been a very explosive family dinner.

Refugee crisis
What rights to a future in France for Calais migrants?
Photo: AFP

What does the future hold for the migrants of the Jungle? Can they work or claim social benefits or travel freely inside Europe?

Pampers nappies 'contain carcinogenics': French study
Photo: Robert Valencia/Flick

The substances in the nappies are meant to prevent skin irritation but are cancerous, the study concludes.

France to scrap special prison wings for dangerous jihadists
Photo: AFP

The experiment has been ditched.

Myth busting: Half of French adults are now overweight
A model at the Pulp Fiction fashion show in Paris that represents society's diverse spectrum . Photo: AFP

Hold on, aren't the French all meant to be finely toned specimens with not an ounce of fat on them?

France poised to send bulldozers into Calais Jungle
Photo: AFP

As hundreds of migrants leave, the bulldozers are set to tear down the sprawling Calais shanty town on Tuesday.

UK to spend €40 million on securing Calais border
Photo: AFP

Britain spending big on security in Calais.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available