The video of the man who repeatedly launched punches at French riot police during skirmishes on a bridge in central Paris on Saturday went viral.
As riot police struggled to prevent yellow vest protesters from crossing the Leopold-Sédar-Senghor bridge several protesters can be seen forcing officers back.
After officers use batons and tear gas spray to keep the crowd back the individual is seen jumping over a barrier and throwing numerous punches at a riot police officer who along with his colleagues is forced to retreat.
The man is wearing a black hat, gloves and coat rather than a yellow vest, then tells police they should be “ashamed”.
A puño limpio hicieron retroceder a la policía en Francia:
En una nueva jornada de protesta de los #GiletsJaunes, mientras la policía reprimía en el puente peatonal Leopold-Sedar-Senghor, París, un boxeador (identificado como Christophe Dettinger) ayudó a repeler la represión ?? pic.twitter.com/dA6ZK6zZ8Y
— Vagabundo ilustrado (@vagoilustrado) January 6, 2019
In another video of the scuffles on the bridge he can be seen kicking a policeman in the head while he lies on the ground.
— Carl Zha (@CarlZha) January 5, 2019
After the videos were widely exchanged on social media police tweeted out that they had identified the man and he was in fact a former professional boxer and light heavyweight French champion.
Monsieur, vous qui avez frappé un collègue à terre, vous êtes identifié. Pour un boxeur, vous ne respectez apparement pas beaucoup de règles. Nous allons vous apprendre celles du code pénal. @EmmanuelMacron @EPhilippePM @CCastaner @NunezLaurent @DGPNEricMorvan @prefpolice pic.twitter.com/zBNcD9kWMs
— Commissaires Police Nationale SCPN (@ScpnCommissaire) January 5, 2019
“Sir, you who punch a colleague on the ground, you have been identified. For a boxer, you do not respect a lot of rules. We will teach you those of the penal code,” tweeted a police union.
French interior minister Christophe Castaner later described the violent attack as”cowardly and intolerable” and tweeted that he contacted the public prosecutor to open an investigation into the incident.
Many on social media took a different view of the incident, labelling the boxer, identified online as Christophe Dettinger, as a hero of the movement and pointed to the incidents of alleged police violence during recent weeks.