Drunk, sabre-wielding French mayor arrested after confronting travellers

The mayor of a Paris suburb has been arrested after attempting, drunk, wearing a flak jacket and armed with a Japanese sabre and a handgun, to stop members of the travelling community setting up a camp in his town, police said.

Drunk, sabre-wielding French mayor arrested after confronting travellers
Wissous mayor Richard Trininuier. Photo AFP

Richard Trinquier was detained on Sunday after he turned up, along with the deputy mayor of the suburb Wissous and two off-duty local police officers, at the car park of a creche where the travellers were attempting to set up a halting site, media reports said.

“He threatened the travellers with a katana,” a long, single-edged sword used by Japanese samurai, officials said, adding that he also had armed himself with a handgun and wore body armour.

“Evidently there were tensions between the mayor and the (traveller) community,” the local prosecutor’s office said.

The mayor of Wissous, a community of about 8,000 people that lies nearly Orly airport south of Paris, reportedly has a licence to use a handgun for sporting purposes but does not have a permit to carry a gun in public.

A member of the community with who had the altercation was also arrested on Sunday after police found a rifle in his vehicle.

Wissous regularly has to deal with illegal traveller camps, Le Parisien said. An official halting site for 200 caravans is due be opened in the suburb.