Police chief stabbed to death in front of town hall in south west France

The chief of the local police in the small town of Rodez in south west France was stabbed to death outside the mairie on Thursday.

Police chief stabbed to death in front of town hall in south west France
Photo: Google Street View

Pascale Filoé, was stabbed three times at around 10am and later died in hospital from his injuries.

Filoé was the deputy director general of services at the Town Hall which meant he was in charge of the police municipale in Rodez, a town in the rural Aveyron department of south west France.

He was a father of three and according to initial reports was aged in his 50s.

A suspect, said to be a 39-year-old man with no fixed abode, was reportedly quickly arrested at the scene without resisting police officers. Reports say he was chased away by an employee at the town hall but ran into a shop where he was arrested.

The suspect was known to police and had only recently moved to the Aveyron department. La Depeche newspaper reported that he had already issued death threats against Filoé.

According to the La Depeche local newspaper the suspect was arrested on April 11th for vandalising the front door of the town hall.

French radio network France Info reported that the suspect recently had his pitbull dog taken away from him because he did not have the right to posess ne, due to a recent criminal conviction. This led him to threaten the town's mayor and the police chief.

France's Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said: “I share in the grief of the residents of Rodez after the despicable attack that targeted the head of their municipal police. My initial thoughts are with his family & loved ones. Support to his trusted colleagues & national police who immediately arrested the individual.”



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France vows to tackle motorbike ‘rodeos’ after children injured

The French government has pledged a new crackdown against illicit motorbike cruising by youths in suburbs across the country, after two children were seriously injured by a rider near Paris.

France vows to tackle motorbike 'rodeos' after children injured

The rowdy late-night races and stunts known as “rodeos” have become increasingly popular in particular in low-income neighbourhoods, leading to complaints about traffic and noise from local officials and many residents.

On Friday evening, a 10-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy were hit by a rider while playing tag outside their home in Pontoise, northwest of the capital.

French daily Le Figaro reported on Monday that the girl suffered a blow to the head and remained in serious condition in hospital, while the boy had a broken leg.

The accident came after a 19-year-old man was killed in June after being hit by a bike rider in the western city of Rennes.

“I have asked the police to step up their interventions this month,” Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said in the southern city of Marseille.

Nonetheless the rodeos are often tolerated or defended as a gritty urban subculture that provides an outlet for disaffected youths, with an upcoming film, “Rodeo”, that appears to glorify the gatherings and  generated a strong buzz at the Cannes film festival last May.

Police have carried out 8,000 operations to break up rodeos in the past two months, leading to 1,200 arrests and the seizure of around 700 motorbikes and other vehicles including all-terrain “quads”.

In 2018, parliament passed a law increasing penalties for the riders to up to five years in prison.